Sunday, January 18, 2009

Essent Cup 11 in Amsterdam

Written by T Dobbin
Saturday night was the 11th and second to last Essent Cup for the 2008-2009 winter season. The finale will be held next week in Utrecht with most teams leaving the following day for Austria and Sweden's Natural ice races.

The forecast in Amsterdam was for rain but lucky it ended up being very windy but no rain! The first event of the evening was the men's A grade marathon. After everyone having skated alot of Natural Ice races the last three weeks everyone was tired and found coming back to track racing very hard not having the same condition as they have for Natural ice.

The mens race started at 19:30. The first few laps were slower than usual and everyone seemed to want to settle into the race more tonight. The first real attack started with a breakaway group of approximately six skaters including DSB Banks Ingmar Berga and Shane Dobbin. The peleton ended up closing this breakaway but not after a very hard long chase.

The race changed after the sprint points with 40 laps remaining after a breakaway group attacked over the top of the sprinters going for the points and a group of eight skaters including Douwe de Vries (Adformatie), Karlo Timmerman (Renault) and Bob de Vries (BAM). These eight skaters worked hard together and ended up lapping the peleton and securing their spot in the final 20.

Another breakaway group of nine skaters attempted to pull back the breakaway of eight who were already a lap up, and for the elimination all nine skaters secured there place in the top 20 which included DSB Banks Jan Maarten Heideman and Arjan Smit. This breakaway worked hard for many laps but within the final 20 laps stopped the chase.

There were only three places remaining for the final 20 laps and it was Shane Dobbin & Ingmar Berga of DSB Bank at the front making the sprint for their place within the top 20. Shane Dobbin (DSB) took the lead with one and a half laps to go Ingmar Berga (DSB) sitting right behind and coming down the final straight only Cedric Michaud (Nefit) passed making these three skaters the final three to qualify for the top 20 and the final 20 laps.

The next move was made by Alexis Contin and Martijn Bovenmars who attacked together getting approximately 1/4 of a lap in front. When they crossed the finish line with 14 laps to go the jury told them both to stop thinking they did not qualify for the final 20 laps and so they ended up stopping and getting out of the race. Ingmar Berga (DSB Bank) who was chasing solo ended up crossing the line in 9th place after his finish with 10 laps to go as well as everyones finish who weren't in the eight that escaped during the race. The jury ended up placing Martijn Bovenmars (Vlasman) and Alexis Contin (Adformatie) in 10th and 11th place because of the mistake they had made asking them to stop. The sprint finish for the rest of skaters was 12th Sjoerd Huisman (Nefit), 13th Cedric Michaud (Nefit), 14th Jan Maarten Heideman (DSB Bank),15th Arjan Smit (DSB Bank) and Shane Dobbin (DSB Bank) in 20th.

For the final 10 laps and the sprint for the victory between eight skaters was a one for all. Bob de Vries (BAM) chasing almost every attack, Douwe de Vries of Adformatie made his solo move with approximately six laps to go and trying to chase was Bob de Vries (BAM) but without the help of Renaults Karlo Timmerman, Bob was unable to close the gap and Douwe de Vries of Adformatie crossed the line for his first victory of the season and the first of his teams. Second place went to Yoeri Lissenberg of Foekens and third place was Karlo Timmerman from Renault.

Mens A Grade results
1st Douwe de Vries (Adformatie)
2nd Yoeri Lissenberg (Foekens)
3rd Karlo Timmerman (Renault)
4th Crispijn Ariens (PE People)
5th Sandow Stuut (Vlasman)

The ladies race soon followed the mens in Amsterdam. The sprint points were a race between Viks Mariska Huisman and Maria Sterk of DSB Bank. With these two skaters racing it out for the gold jersey it left the door open for everyone else to make their move for the victory. In the final 20 laps it was a breakaway of five skaters that broke away including Frisia's Danielle Bekkering and crossing the line in first place and to held off the rest of the peleton chasing strong in the final sprint. Second place went to Chris Witty of Landjuweel and third place Carla Zielman of Hoolwerf. After this race there was a change in the gold jersey and Mariska now holds the gold by one point going into the final race of the Essent Cup.

Ladies results
1st Danielle Bekkering (Frisia)
2nd Chris Witty (Landjuweel)
3rd Carla Zielman (Hoolwerf)
4th Anniek ter Haar (Aavaas Groep)
5th Mariska Huisman (Viks)

The final event of the evening was the mens first division with Dj Nation. Dj Nation from New Zealand made a very strong race attacking and held good position throughout the race. Two skaters made their move earlier on in the race with approximately 40 laps to go and these two skaters with the help of their team mates ended up lapping the peleton to secure the places for first and second.

Dj Nation of New Zealand easily finished within the top 20 skaters to secure his spot in the final 20 laps and the race for third. With six laps to go Dj Nation was in a breakaway with three other skaters all working together to try to escape. With one lap to go Dj made his move and sprinted past his competitors to cross the line on the podium for third place. Finishing in first place was Tom Helte Slagter (Clavis) and in second place Thijs Smit (Goesting) who both finished the last five laps solo.

First Grade Results
1st Tom Jelte Slagter (Clavis)
2nd Thijs Smit (Goesting)
3rd Dj Nation (New Zealand)

4th Ted Ooijvaar (Choose 2)
5th Bart can der Valk (Goenehardsport)

For full results go to

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