Cyclocross rider Pim Ronhaar (22 years old) won his third World Cup race. The Baloise-Trek Lions rider was the strongest on a muddy track in Dendermonde. For the Hellendoorn resident, it was his first win in a World Cup competition.
Ronhaar pulled away from Belgians Lorenz Swick and Ton Vandebosch in the eight-lap fourth round. The latter was previously only in the lead, but then retreated. His position was taken by Lars van der Haar. The Dutch champion finished second, narrowly ahead of Soek.
New European champion Michael Vanthornhout withdrew from the cross in his home country at the last minute. Dutchman Ryan Kamp had the best route there, but saw Vandebosch pass not long after. Van der Haar was still some distance away at that moment after a poor start, but Woudenberger rose quickly and was still able to do some work for his teammate Raunhaar, who had been alone in the lead since midway through the race.
Hit and miss
The young Dutchman has had a mixed season so far. After a day off at Koppenbergcross, he finished fourth in the European Championship four days later. “It’s important to stay positive after a setback. You’re still young too. A bad race is never good if you have to compete in the European Championships a few days later, but things went well there once again”.
The model exists, as Ronhaar experienced. “For the first two or three laps, the team management told me to stay calm and save myself for later in the race. I felt good after that and kept the pace high.”
At the European Championships, Van der Haar prevented him from winning the bronze medal, which seemed to cause some discomfort. “But me and Lars had a burger together and a beer afterwards. We have no problem, Lars is my best friend.”
They will go to training camp together on December 5. “Because of all those competitions, I wasn’t able to train much after the US Lacrosse World Cup. This week I was finally able to get some hours back. The rule needs to be lifted a bit, so I might have to do less races.
Van der Haar tops the World Cup rankings, ahead of Belgian Elie Iserbyt and Ronhaar.
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