Last night was the finale of the Essent Cup Marathon series. The finale was held in Utrecht and both the ladies and men's races were full of excitment.
The ladies race would decide who would end up in the Gold Jersey at the end of the race with Mariska Huisman (Viks) in the Gold by one point over Maria Sterk (DSB Bank) who has held the Gold Jersey for just about the whole Essent Cup series. During the sprint points Elma de Vries (DSB Bank) was leading out for her team mate Maria Sterk. Sitting right behind Maria was Mariska Huisman (Viks) who would pass Maria just at the line to win the sprint points and gain more points in the overall classment. By the finish of the race Mariska Huisman had secured her overall victory by six points and ended up with the Gold Jersey for the Essent Cup with 213 point. Second place went to Maria Sterk (DSB Bank) with 207 points third palce was Carla Zielman (Hoolwerf) with 168 points who crossed the line in first place with the finale race victory in the sprint finish. Second place in the race went to Chris Witty (Landjuweel) and third Elma de Vries (DSB Bank).Ladies Race Results
1st Carla Zielman (Hoolwerf)
2nd Chris Witty (Landjuweel)
3rd Elma De Vries (DSB Bank)
4th Danielle Bekkering (Frisia)
5th Andrea Sikkema (Van der Wiel)
With Bob de Vries securing his Gold Jersey as he was sick and unable to get out of bed he decided that he would not take the start in Utrecht. Bob de Vries won the Gold Jersey with 198 points from Cedric Michaud (Nefit) with 182 points and third Arjan Stroetinga (BAM) with 144 points.
The mens finale race was very hard and fast with many attacks and everyone trying to escape off the front. Bart de Vries (Schuurman) making the first attack of the evening within the first lap of the race. Cedric Michaud (Nefit) made his race for the sprint points to secure his place in the overall classment with everyone else waiting in the peleton for the next move. DSB Bank's Ingmar Berga and Arjan Smit were very active at the front of the race in many breaks and putting through for the leads.
The deciding breakaway went with approximately just over 50 laps to go. All four DSB Bank skaters were in this breakaway securing their place in the breakaway once they lapped the peleton. There were 28 skaters now in the lead group with approximately 30 laps to go.
Once the breakaway group lapped the peleton Alexis Contin (Adformatie) and two other skaters broke away together with only Alexis on the leading lap. Shane Dobbin (DSB Bank) and Henk Hengenent (TNT Express) escaped off the front trying to catch Alexis Contin with the other two skaters having to stop with 20 laps as they did not secure their place inside the top 20 at the elimination point. Shane Dobbin (DSB Bank) and Henk Hengenent (TNT Express) caught Alexis Contin and these three skaters trying very hard to escape off the front. They ended up at approximately half a lap in front of the leading peleton but once the two teams of Renault and BAM went to the front this breakaway was closed down with five laps remaining.
Once the peleton had caught the escapees it was Jan Maarten Heideman (DSB Bank) making the next move escaping off the front solo. Jan Maarten Heideman (DSB Bank) was strong enough to hold off the peleton and crossed the line solo with his second Essent Cup Victory for the season. second place went to Karlo Timmerman (Renault) in the sprint finish over Arjan Stroetinga BAM).
Mens Race Results
1st Jan Maarten Heideman (DSB Bank)
2nd Karlo Timmerman (Renault)
3rd Arjan Stroetinga (BAM)
4th Ingmar Berga (DSB Bank)
5th Sjoerd Huisman (Nefit)
8th Arjan Smith (DSB Bank)
16th Shane Dobbin (DSB Bank)
The final race of the evening was the first grade marathon with New Zealander Dj Nation. Dj Nation skated a very hard hard making many attacks and trying to close down any breaks that happened. Dj Nation was in the lead group in the final 20 but in the final sprint taking the lead with three laps to go after confusing the laps and ended up crossing the line in nineth place for his last marathon of the 2008-2009 ice season. Now Dj prepares for the Junior World Championships which are held in Poland at the end of February.