Stay Home Stories: Antwan Tolhoek
In the column ‘Stay Home Stories’, the cyclists of Team Jumbo-Visma talk about t...
Once again, the Dutch men dominated the Team Pursuit at the ISU World Single Distances Championships. Along with Marcel Bosker, Team Jumbo-Visma speed skaters Douwe de Vries and Sven Kramer finished the men's Team Pursuit with a world record to win their second consecutive world title.
At the Utah Olympic Oval, the Dutch crossed the line in 3:34.68, beating their own record by almost one second. In November of 2013, Kramer, Koen Verweij and Jan Blokhuijsen skated a time of 3:35.60 in Salt Lake City. By winning the gold medal, Kramer won his 75th title of his career.
The other countries did not have a chance on Saturday. Japan's Seitaro Ichinohe, Riku Tsuchiya and Shane Williamson finished in 3:36.41 to take silver, while Russia (Aleksandr Rumyantsev, Danila Semerikov and Sergey Trofimov) repeated last year's bronze medal in 3:37.24.
"This is great", De Vries said after the race. "To win another world title with a world record is really nice. Before the race, we did not know this would be possible. However, during our race we realized it was a possibility, because I knew what lap times were needed and we succeeded to skate at that pace."
De Vries' season had not gone so well, so he was really pleased with his gold medal. "It is awesome to conclude the season on such a high note", De Vries admitted. "I had some very bad moments this year and I was not able to skate well at the right moments, just like the World Cup Qualification Tournament and the Dutch Single Distances Championships. That was really frustrating, so I am happy to end the season like this."
Earlier on Saturday, Nuis managed to win a silver medal in the men's 1000-meter race. The reign Olympic champion set a time of 1:06.73. However, he was not able to come even close to winner Pavel Kulizhnikov, who won in a new world record of 1:05.69 (was 1:06.18, set by Nuis last season).
Thomas Krol, Nuis' teammate at Team Jumbo-Visma, ended up in third place with a time of 1:06.74, but was disqualified after swerving out of the inner corner and hindering his pair-mate Viktor Mushtakov from Russia. As a result of Krol's calamity, Laurent Dubreuil (Canada) stepped up to the podium: 1:06.76.
"Today, I was the best of the rest", Nuis admitted after his race. "I was too eager at the start. I missed every stroke in the opener, it is a real shame. The last two laps were good, but when you start those laps 1.5 km/h slower, there is just no chance. But even if the opener had been better, I would have skated 1:06.2 or something. It would not have made any difference. Hopefully, I am able to take gold in the men's 1500-meter race tomorrow."