Sunday, December 7, 2008

Essent Cup 6 in Assen

Written by T Dobbin

Last night was the sixth Essent Cup race held in Assen. It was a cold evening but not cold enough to keep the ice from breaking up and made it a tough race for everyone.

The first event of the evening was the ladies 60 lap marathon. Gretha Smith (Hofmeier) raced in Assen making the race with attack after attack. The team of DSB were working strong together at the front to bring back the breaks for the team leader Maria Sterk (DSB Bank) so she was able to go for the sprints throughout the race. Mariska Huisman (Viks) skated a very strong race attacking during the sprint points and taking herself some sprint points for the overall gold jersey.

In the final 20 laps Elma de Vries (DSB Bank) was bringing back the breaks for her team mate Maria Sterk. Gretha Smith (Hofmeier) trying to make attacks in the final 20 to get away without a sprint finish made the last 20 laps a tough part of the race.

The ladies race ended up coming down to a sprint finish where it was a three way race with Mariska Huisman (Viks) making the first move with one lap to go and started the sprint. Following her was Carla Zielman (Hoolwerf) and then Elma de Vries (DSB Bank). Coming through the last corner Mariska Huisman (Viks) lead down the last straight on the inside with Carla Zielman (Hoolwerf) and Elma de Vries (DSB Bank) sprinting for the line one on one. Crossing the line with a lunge at the line and the victory in Assen was Hoolwerf's Carla Zielman with her third victory for the season, second went to DSB Bank's Elma de Vries and third from Viks Mariska Huisman.

Ladies Marathon Results
1st Carla Zielman (Hoolwerf)
2nd Elma de Vries (DSB Bank)
3rd Mariska Huisman (Viks)
4th Andrea Sikkema (Van der Wiel)
5th Maria Sterk (DSB Bank)

The men's A grade race started just after the ladies and the ice cleaning at 19:30. Within the first 10 laps DSB Bank's Jens Zwitser crashed with Adformatie's Tristan Loy and one other skater. Jens Zwitser (DSB Bank) was quick to react and get back on his feet and after a long hard chase of approximately four laps finally got back on the back of the peleton.

Like every week there were many attacks off the front within the first few laps and then continuing throughout the race. For most of the sprint points this week there were breaks off the front leaving the team leaders and the gold jersey in the peleton with their teams chasing.

At approximately the 65 lap mark a very strong breakaway went off the front with approximately 10 skaters in total including Ralf Zwitser (Adformatie), Arjan Smit (DSB Bank), Arjan Stoetinga (BAM),Karlo Timmerman (Equipe Renault Eco2) and Jan Van Loon (Equipe Renault Eco2). These skaters were approximately half a lap ahead of the peleton working hard to lap the peleton. After approximately 15 laps into this breakaway Adformatie's Ralf Zwitser broke away solo from this peleton working hard at a solo attack to get a lap over the peleton. The remaining breakaway group were unable to follow him leaving him solo out front and approximately three quarters of a lap out front just a quarter of a lap from the peleton. The team coach of Adformatie instructed Alexis Contin his team mate to go back out of the peleton to work with Ralf to try to take a lap but both were unable to make much ground in getting their lap. The next attempt was sending Adformatie's team leader Douwe de Vries back to help Ralf but after only a few laps Ralp decided to stop skating and ended his solo breakaway.

This hard attack left only approximately six skaters in the breakaway group still a half a lap off the front and still working hard to take the lap over the peleton. The peleton was working very hard throughout these laps to take back the breakaway group. There were many attacks and a very long phase which made the race very very hard. In the end there were only 41 skaters still in the race.

Just before the elimination and the 30 lap mark of the race the breakaway group out front was slowly coming back to the peleton. DSB Bank were at the front of the peleton trying to think of the elimination and get their skaters through to the last 20 laps as well as trying not to catch the breakaway group including their team mate Arjan Smit (DSB Bank). With the sprint & elimination at lap 20 the breakaway group were caught at the line and DSB Bank had three skaters (Arjan Smit, Shane Dobbin & Jeron de Vries) in the final 20 laps as well as BAM had four skaters. The team of BAM skated at the front making sure there were not final attacks. BAM controlled the race at the front wanting the race to finish in a sprint for the finisher Arjan Stroetinga.

DSB Bank went to the front with 8 laps to go with their team tactic in place. With 7 laps to go Jeron de Vries (DSB Bank) skated off the front with Arjan Smit letting him escape and Shane Dobbin sitting right behind. The team of BAM left Jeron de Vries out the front until it was time to start the final sprint.

The race ended up in a sprint finish with BAM doing their lead out and everyone else in behind. With alot of fighting for position in the final few laps, Shane Dobbin (DSB Bank) went to the front with TNT's Joost Jeffermans making their sprint with two laps to go. Coming around the outside with one lap to go was Bob de Vries (BAM) with his team mate Arjan Stroetinga behind and Equipe Renaults Eco2 Karlo Timmerman right behind. In the exit of the final corner Bob de Vries skated wide and left the door open for Arjan Stroetinga & Karlo Timmerman. At at sprint for the line between Arjan & Karlo with Bob on the outside, Bob getting caught up in a disagreement with Karlo down the final straight allowed Arjan Stroetinga to (BAM) to cross the line in first and his team mate Bob de Vries finished second & Karlo Timmerman (Equipe Renaults Eco2) still managed to take third in the race.

Mens Marathon Results
1st Arjan Stroetinga (BAM)
2nd Bob de Vries (BAM)
3rd Karlo Timmerman (Equipe Renaults Eco2)
4th Cedric Michaud (Nefit)
5th Christijn Groeneveld (Equipe Renaults Eco2)
6th Joost Vink (
7th Douwe de Vries (Adformatie)
8th Roy Boeve (Safan)
9th Yoeri Lissenberg (Foekens)
10th Rob Hadders (BAM)
11th Danfor Stuut (Vlasman)
12th Hermen van der Wal (Kooyenga groep)
13th Sjoerd Huisman (Nefit)
14th Shane Dobbin (DSB Bank)
15th Joost Juffermans (TNT Express)
16th Arjan Smit (DSB Bank)

The final event of the evening was the first division marathon race. Dj Nation of New Zealand skated in the first division race after winning last week was hungry to get on the podium again. There were many strong attacks through the first division but none really serious enough to taking a lap over the peleton. Dj Nation at the start of the race trying to make some attacks but unfortunately none were successful.

For the final sprint & elimination at lap 20 Dj Nation had good positioning for the elimination at the front of the group always in top 5. Dj making the top 20 for the final 20 laps without too much trouble left the door open for anything to happen. With Jouke Hoogeveen (Schuurman) making an attack with 15 laps to go at first no one was reacting until Sander Kinigma (Team Care Group) & Koos Kortekaas (Vlasman) broke away together to chase. The rest of the peleton waiting for someone to make the next move but left their chase too late and were unable to catch.

Crossing the line in first place was Jouke Hoogeveen (Schuurman), second went to Sander Kingma (Team Care Group) and third Koos Kortekass (Vlasman).

Men's First Division Marathon Results

1st Jouke Hoogeveen (Schuurman)
2nd Sander Kingma (Team Care Group)
3rd Koos Kortekass (Vlasman)
4th Timo Verkaaik (Viks)
5th Peter Nauta (Schaatsteam Bolsward)
19th Dj Nationl (New Zealand.

For more photos go to:
For full results go to:

No comments: