Race preview Santos Tour Down Under
Team Jumbo-Visma is preparing for the first World Tour race of the season. In Au...
A strong performance by Team Jumbo-Visma this weekend. The team of coach Jac Orie managed to win seven medals at the European Single Distance Championships at Thialf, Heerenveen.
On the final day of the tournament, Thomas Krol took a silver medal in the men’s 1,000-meter race. The 27-year-old speed skater of Team Jumbo-Visma set a time of 1:07.82. With that time Krol finished behind winner Pavel Kulizhnikov, who hammered out an impressive time of 1:07.09, beating Kai Verbij’s track record by 0.39 seconds. Verbij ended up in third place on Sunday: 1:08.38.
"I am satisfied with my race", Krol said. "At this distance, I had never been faster before at Thialf. However, Pavel completely outclassed us today. It was an amazing performance by him. Nothing but respect. Of course, I really want to win, but unfortunately I just was not able to go faster today."
On Friday, Krol had won his first European title of his career. In the men's 1,500-meter race, he set a time of 1:43.67, finishing way ahead of his competitors. "After winning the 1,500-meter race at the World and Dutch Single Distance Championships, I am now European champion. I completed the sweep and I am really happy I was able to do it."
Earlier on Sunday, the Netherlands had taken Team Pursuit gold. Antoinette de Jong, Ireen Wüst and Melissa Wijfje seized gold with a time of 2:57.97. They finished more than a second ahead of the Russian ladies (2:59.04). Belarus ended up in third place, crossing the line in 3:05.50.
Sven Kramer, Patrick Roest and Marcel Bosker managed to win the Team Pursuit by setting a time of 3:40.63. Just like the ladies, the Russian men were able to win a silver medal (3:42.48), while Norway took bronze: 3:43.39.
Team Jumbo-Visma concluded the tournament with four gold medals. On Saturday Roest, who had already taken bronze at 1,500 meters on Friday, won a gold medal in the men’s 5,000-meter race.
Roest managed to skate an impressive race, crossing the line in a time of 6:08.92, beating the track record (6:08.96) – set by Danila Semerikov on December 16th of 2018 - by 0.04 seconds. Kramer, who skated in the second of eighth pairings, seized silver with a time of 6:10.76. Denis Yuskov (Russia) ended up in third place: 6:12.26.
"I was the man to beat, so I am happy I was able to win", Roest said after his race. "I was not aiming for the track record. The most important thing was to skate a good race and to win my first European title. However, it is nice to have the track record back. I had tried many times before, so I am glad I managed to get it done."
Kramer had mixed feelings about the color of his medal. "A time of 6:10.76 is not bad at all", the multiple Olympic champion said. "During my race, I had some small mistakes and because of that I lost some costly time. In the past you would relatively easy win with a time like this. But nowadays you need to skate faster. Patrick was really impressive and he deserves the win."
"The gap between Roest and myself is just 1.8 seconds, while it was way more at the beginning of this season, so I am progressing well. I am looking forward to the fifth World Cup in Calgary and the World Single Distance Championships in Salt Lake City. Hopefully I can finish this season on a high note."
Gold: Roest (5000m), Krol (1500m) and Team Pursuit (men/ladies);
Silver: Kramer (5000m) and Krol (1000m);
Bronze: Roest (1500m).