Bert-Jan Lindeman finished second in De Ronde van Drenthe. In his home region, the strong Dutchman formed a five-man lead group and rode free, but lost against Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen) in the sprint.
The one-day race in the northeast of The Netherlands crossed a couple of cobblestone sections. Lindeman knew the roads well. He rode them during some of his training this week and arrived well-prepared for the race.
On the last climb of the VAM-berg, the pack fell into pieces and only five riders survived with a chance to win. “I set the pace on the VAM-berg,” Lindeman said. “That ensured that we had a chance to ride free. I felt good today and I’m glad that I pulled off a good result. It’s a pity that I finished second, but you know when you’re in a leading group with five riders, things aren’t always predictable. I made a choice to focus on the final sprint. I thought that would be my best chance to grab the victory.”
Sports Director Frans Maassen was satisfied with the performance of his team, who helped Lindeman to his result. Brian Bulgac gave him his wheel in the last cobblestone section and Lindeman finished it off by reading the race perfectly.
“You always prefer to win, of course, but we didn’t finish second that often this season, so far,” Maassen said. “The fact that someone else is faster in the final sprint isn’t a shame. I’m satisfied with the way we performed today.”
“I can say that it was a good race with a little bit of disappointment in the end,” Lindeman added. “My tactic didn’t pay off, unfortunately. Theuns was just faster than me.”
Lindeman gets another chance to grab a victory tomorrow, when he will start the Dwars door Drenthe. “That is going to be a very beautiful race too,” he said. “We don’t have a decider like the VAM-berg, but the profile really is interesting. I hope that I will feel as great as I did today so I can be in the final again.”