Stay Home Stories: George Bennett
In the column ‘Stay Home Stories’, the cyclists of Team Jumbo-Visma talk about t...
Team Jumbo-Visma has started the new World Cup season really well in Minsk, Belarus. The formation of coach Jac Orie won seven medals at the first ISU World Cup of the season: 4x gold, 1x silver and 2x bronze.
Kjeld Nuis and Thomas Krol concluded the tournament on a high note on Sunday. At the men's 1500-meter race Nuis seized gold. With a time of 1:46.22 the reign Olympic champion finished just ahead of Denis Yuskov (Russia) (1:46.45) and his Team Jumbo-Visma teammate Thomas Krol (1:46.50).
"To be honest, I wish I would have won three gold medals this weekend", Nuis said with a smile at the end of his tournament. On Friday Nuis, Ronald Mulder and Kai Verbij secured gold in the Team Sprint. The reigning World Champions edged out China by 0.15 seconds, finishing in 1:21.16. However, Nuis had to settle for third place in the men's 1,000-meter race on Saturday.
"I really messed up my 1,000-meter race, so it feels really good to win here today", Nuis said. "I am not going to say that this race was easy, but I skated really well. This is how I supposed to skate. I won two gold medals this weekend, so there is no reason to complain. However, I have to be better at my 1,000-meter races."
Krol, who won his first ever gold medal at 1,000 meters at the World Cup on Saturday, had 'mixed feelings' after his race on Sunday. "Of course, I always want to win. My race was not bad, but not very good either. I did everything I could to win today, but it did not happen. I have to accept this result."
"Yesterday I won my first ever gold medal at 1,000 meters at the World Cup, so I am happy. It's very nice to start the international speed skating season like this."
Roest had already shown early season form with a track record at the Dutch trials and he lived up to the expectations at the 5000-meter race in Minsk on Friday. The World Allround Champion finished in 6:16.61, beating Kramer's 2016 track record (6:19.17) by almost three seconds.
"This is an awesome start to the new World Cup season", Roest said. "I am very happy with my race. However, I still think I am able to go faster than this. The last two weeks we trained hard, so I was still a little bit tired of that."
"To be honest I wasn't aiming for the track record. I just wanted to win this race. It is a nice feeling to win, but when you set a new track record as well, it is even better."
Reign Olympic champion Achtereekte won a silver medal in the ladies 3,000-meter race on Friday. She stopped the clock at 4:05.15. Only the Canadian speed skater Isabelle Weidemann was faster. With 4:04.67 she was the only one to finish under 4:05.
Next week Team Jumbo-Visma will be in Tomaszów Mazowiecki (Poland) for the second World Cup of the season. After a small break the team goes to Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan/December 6-8) and Nagano (Japan/December 13-15). On December 27th the speed skaters will return to Thialf (Heerenveen) for the National Single Distance Championships.