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Last weekend a studentcup was organised in Utrecht. We still don’t know whether it was a swimming or a cycling race, but according to buienradar it was dry almost all day! Therefore Conor, Robin and Tjalle decided to go by bike from Wageningen. This was a wise decision, since they could already get used to the race conditions. The rest of our Hellingprofs travelled by train. Although Strava doesn’t say so, Niels also went by bike from the Uithof in Utrecht, where hewas listening to singer Anton. The track was fast with only one real corner in it. For the men without license Alger, Bram, Conor and Martijn made it at the starting line. From the first moments it was full gas, resulting in gaps in the peloton. Bram told us before the start of the race he was not very motivated to ride in these weather conditions. It was also no surprise he rode through some sharp edged stones and got a puncture in the second lap. Unfortunately he was forced to leave the race and go to a nice BBQ. Alger and Martijn were both able to show some nice rowing performances with their long legs in the wet conditions and finished in a group behind the peloton on place 20 and 28. Conor really enjoyed the Irish weather and was continuously whistling on his bike. In the end a rider in front of him crashed and he lost contact with the peloton. He finished in a group behind the peloton on the 18 th place.
In the ladies category we only had Esther and Susan at the start. Esther rode a very strong race in the bunch, maybe because Mark cheered for her! Although Susan has a sharp sprint, she tried to force the breakaway multiple times. Unfortunately the other women were afraid of Susan and did not follow her, so a mass sprint was inevitable. Susan became 3 rd in her category and 5 th overall. Another podium place for her! Esther continued to show her good form after the GNSK and just missed the podium on the 4 th place. A super race from our ladies!
Finally it was time for the men with license: Niels, Robin and Tjalle were there for Hellingproof. Niels decided to attack with two sprinters of the Domrener. Luckily Niels also has a famous sprint, so he continued with these two riders. The breakaway managed to hold on until the finish and everybody expected Niels to easily win the sprint. Although he did all he could, he finished 3 rd His first ever podium place in a student race! Both Robin and Tjalle raced in the peloton and made sure the breakaway of Niels was safe (at the front and at the back of the peloton). Since they assumed Niels had won the race, Robin and Tjalle decided not join the sprint for place 4 and instead have a relaxed chat at the back of the peloton. This resulted in the 19 th and 20 th place for them.
On the 17 th of June Hellingproof joined one of the studentcups in Enschede. Well, not really in Enschede, it was nearby Oldenzaal, which is nearby Hengelo, which is in the end nearby
Enschede. The race started as usual with the men without license race. Bart, Bram, Martijn and Conor were riding their race on a nice course with some corners and a bit of height differences. During the race there were some attacks, but most of them were neutralised. In the final of the race the peloton broke in two groups, with Bart and Bram in front and Martijn and Conor in the second group. In the last laps, Conor attacked from the second group, but was not able to defend his lead. Bram worked for Bart to launch him in the sprint. Bart missed some power due to his illness and did not manage to reach the podium. He finished 5 th, while Bram could still took 10 th place. Martijn and Conor finished later in the second group.
In the women’s race Susan, Els, Vera and Sigrid rode against some other strong riders in a small peloton. Despite some attacks of Susan and others, the peloton stayed complete till the end. In the sprint Susan became 2 nd and Els rode really strong to a 5 th place. Sigrid rode a really decent race and is making progress every week.
Tjalle and Niels represented the men with license for Hellingproof. They rode against a strong block of Klein Verzet, but were present in every larger front group. Tjalle withdraw from the race halfway, but had still a nice ride since he went to Oldenzaal by bike. Niels finished the race in the front group of six riders and managed to take 4 th place in the final sprint. In the end we came closer in the team classification and are still in second place in the general classification.
During the weekend of 9 till 11 June Hellingproof defended the pride of Wageningen on the GNSK in Eindhoven. For the women Els, Esther, Sigrid and Vera were present. The men were with six riders: Bas, Conor, Gijs, Niels, Robin and Tjalle. In total four different races were organised. Only the first ten teams/riders got points for the overall team classification.
On Friday evening we clearly won the first “race” on the party, unfortunately no points were obtained for this. The next day a prologue of 4.2 km and a team sprint were planned. Three of our strongest time trial ladies and men rode the prologue, while the sprinters (more or less) started in the team sprint. In between the naps on the grass everybody did their job. For the prologue the ladies unfortunately did not earned points, but Sigrid rode strongly to a 12th place, Els 15th and Vera 18th. For the men Niels became 2nd, Bas 6th and Tjalle 16th. In the team sprint both the women and men became 5th.
After a nice Saturday evening the hardest day was here: a team time trial and a criterium. The women rode a strong time trial and finished 6th. Our Hellingproof men were on fire and won the team time trial with force majeure. They were now on the second place overall, with only a small gap to the number one!
In the criterium that followed it was full gas from the start in both races. Unfortunately no points were obtained by the women. Esther rode very strong, but suffered a puncture in the final lap. Els finished just behind the peloton, while Sigrid and Vera were in another group behind Els.
Niels was able to ride in the breakaway group and finished 7th. Bas and Robin finished in the reduced peloton. Tjalle also rode in the peloton, until he had a puncture 1,5 lap before the finish. Conor and Gijs finished just behind the peloton. Unfortunately the men just missed the podium and ended up at the 4th overall place. The women finished at a 6th place.
All in all it was a super weekend, with lots of sunshine!!