Many of the best Dutch cyclists are skipping the upcoming World Cup race in Val di Sole, Italy. National coach Gerbin De Kneigt will travel with just eight competitors (five men and three women) to the competition on December 10. Lars van der Haar, Pim Rhonhaar, Wim van Empel and Lucinda Brand, among others, are missing from the selection. Celine del Carmen Alvarado, who tops the Women’s World Cup rankings, will ride in Val di Sol.
“This is due to a combination of factors, and in fact it is a sum,” says De Knegt in a press release issued by the cycling union KNWU. “This is a good time for many athletes to cover kilometers on the road in the sunshine, preparing for the busy Christmas period, but certainly also for the Championships.”
“In addition, Val di Sol is logistically difficult and therefore also financially difficult,” continues the national coach. “You spend a lot of time on the ride. Some people also take into account that there were many falls on an icy track last year. If you had to choose one weekend to rest, this would be the weekend for many athletes.”
Raunhaar has already won two World Cups this winter (Dundermond and Dublin), and Van der Haar was the best in Maasmechelen. World champion Van Empel was the strongest among women in Waterloo (USA) and Maasmechelen, while Brand won in Dublin and last Sunday in Flamanville.
Besides Alvarado, there are only Bock Bitters and Manon Packer in the women’s cross in Val di Sol. For the men, Joris Nieuwenhuis, Ryan Camp, Corne van Kessel, Stan Joudry and Klaas Groenen will start.
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