Race preview Santos Tour Down Under
Team Jumbo-Visma is preparing for the first World Tour race of the season. In Au...
For the second time in his career Patrick Roest took gold in the men's 5,000 meter-race at the National Single Distance Championships. In the final race of the event, the 24-year-old speed skater of Team Jumbo-Visma set the best time at Thialf, Heerenveen. Sven Kramer seized silver at 5,000 meters, while Jan Smeekens (500m) and Joy Beune (1500m) won a silver and bronze medal on Friday.
Roest, who faced his teammate Douwe de Vries in the final race of the event on Friday, secured the win with a time of 6:09.79, finishing just ahead of his teammate Sven Kramer, who took silver in 6:10.91. De Vries ended up in fifth place (6:18.62). Chris Huizinga (6:23.79) and Kars Jansman (6:26.00) finished ninth and tenth.
"It's very nice to defend my Dutch title", Roest said. "It was a nice battle, so I am sure the fans enjoyed it. I really had to fight for this one. My 5000-meter races had gone really well so far this season, but I was still really nervous. Every time I step on the ice I want to win, so that gives a lot of pressure."
Kramer was satisfied with the outcome. "I am really happy with this result", he said. "Last week, I showed some good form by setting a new track record at 3,000 meters, but you never know what happens. Of course, I always want to win, but I am really pleased with this race and the way I skated today."
Earlier on Friday, Smeekens won a silver medal in the men's 500-meter race. The 32-year-old speed skater of Team Jumbo-Visma set a time of 34.81. Only Dai Dai N’tab was faster, crossing the line in 34.37. Hein Otterspeer ended up in fourth place (34.91), while Thomas Krol finished sixth (35.17).
"After my poor performance at the World Cup Qualification Tournament, I was really looking forward to this race", Smeekens said. "There was a lot of pressure, because it had to happen today and fortunately it did. Of course, I really wanted to become Dutch champion, but when I look at where I am coming from, I should be satisfied with this outcome."
Beune took a bronze medal in the ladies’ 1500-meter race on Friday. With a time of 1:55.87, the 20-year-old speed skater ended up just behind Melissa Wijfje (1:55.65) and Ireen Wüst (1:55.69). Team Jumbo-Visma speed skaters Antoinette de Jong (1:56.16) and Carlijn Achtereekte (1:56.60) finished fourth and fifth.
"I am speechless", Beune said after her race. "I was a little bit surprised that only two skaters beat my time. I did not expect that. I am really happy with this result, especially after my poor performances at the World Cup Qualification Tournament. This gives a boost for the next couple of races."
Headerfoto: Stephan Tellier