Sunday, December 21, 2008

Essent Cup 8 Utrecht

Written by T Dobbin
Last night was the 8th Essent Cup event in Utrecht, Netherlands. The first event of the evening was the ladies 60 lap race. Early on in the race Elma de Vries from DSB Bank went for a sprint point and then just after the finish line crashed into the barrier. She has to get up and chase for many laps because the sprint points were still continuing which is a very tough time to crash in a race. After a few laps of chasing Elma's team mate Kitty Meeth (DSB Bank) dropped back to help Elma catch back up to the peleton.

In the final 20 laps there were many breakaway attempts from the team of Landjuweel. It was Karin Bakker (Viks) who went to the front and brought back alot of these break away attempts for her team mate Mariska Huisman (Viks) in the sprint finish. The ladies ended up finishing a pack sprint with Chris Witty (Landjuweel) went to the front with just over one lap to go with Andrea Sikkema (Vander Wiel) in second and Mariska Huisman (Viks) in third. Chris putting on the pack not allowing anyone to pass in the final lap Chris Witty crossed the finish line in first place and the three ladies crossed the line the same place as they started the sprint.

Ladies Marathon Results
1st Chris witty (Landjuweel)
2nd Andrea Sikkema (Van der Wiel)
3rd Mariska Huisman (Viks)
4th Danielle Bekkering (Frisia)
5th Maria Sterk (DSB Bank)

The A grade men started shortly after the ladies and the ice cleaning. Tonight in the A grade men there were many holes in the ice and the ice was not good getting cut up more and more each lap. Utrecht was a very tough race and the pace was very fast. After the first sprint points Alexis Contin (Adformatie) continued over the top of the sprint leaders and broke away off the front of the peleton. Crossing over to him were approximately 3 other skaters causing the peleton to react and put the pace on to chase Alexis down.

The major breakaways of the evening were Safan's Roy Boeve escaped off the front with three other skaters and ended up approximately half a lap in front over the peleton. Roy trying to escape alone from his competitors but after this the peleton reacted and ended up catching these escapees. Another strong breakaway group included DSB Banks Arjan Smit with approximately seven other skaters but this was caught soon after and the sprint was on for the final 20 laps.

DSB Bank went to the front with approximately 30 laps to go and 10 laps before the sprint elimination. Jen Zwister (DSB Bank), Jan Maarten Heideman (DSB Bank) and Shane Dobbin (DSB Bank) were in good position at the front. With approximately 8 laps before the sprint DSB Bank lost the lead positions but both Shane Dobbin & Jan Maarten were still in good position well inside the top 20. Jan Maarten (DSB Bank) got caught at one stage with approximately five laps before the sprint just outside the top 20 and got caught up in a big crash. This took Jan Maarten out of the sprint and the race. Shane Dobbin (DSB Bank) still in good position sitting right behind Alexis Contin (Adformatie) in the top 5 -10 skaters on the outside line with just one lap before the sprint had two hands on his hips going around the outside and within one corner went from the top five to approximately 30th. From there, just one skater from DSB Bank crossed the line in the top 20 for the final 20 laps which was Arjan Smit.

In the final 20 laps, there were no breakaways. The race was controlled at the front by the BAM team. Just one breakaway attempt in the final 20 laps but was closed down after only one lap for a sprint finish. In the sprint finish BAM were in the front with the Renault team, taking up the first 5 positions with Nefit's Sjoerd Huisman sitting right behind. Coming down the back straight it was Sjoerd Huisman who went around the outside of both team trains and put himself in first position to cross the line in first place and take his third victory this season. It was close between second and third which went to Karlo Timmerman (Renault) and Arjan Stroetinga (BAM) in second and third.

Mens Marathon Results
1st Sjoerd Huisman (Nefit)
2nd Karlo Timmerman (Renault)
3rd Arjan Stroetinga (BAM)
4th Cees Jeffermans (TNT Express)
5th Bob de Vries (BAM)

The final event of the night was with New Zealands Dj Nation. With five skaters taking a lap over the peleton it left the sprint for the top 20 even more difficult with only 15 qualifying. Dj Nation got caught on the inside of the elimination sprint and could not move quick enough to the outside just missing the top 20.

First Division Marathon Results
1st Martijn van Es (TNT Express)
2nd Nick Uithoven
3rd Thijs Smit (Goesting)
4th Cart van der Valk (Groenehardsport)
5th Stefan Teeuwen (Goesting)

For full results go to
For more photos go to