Joris Nieuwenhuis prevailed in the Dutch cyclocross championships in Hoogeveen, riding away from teammate Pim Ronhaar midway through the elite men’s race and never looking back.
The 27-year-old profited from a mistake from Ronhaar in the first half of the race and continued to open a gap to his younger teammate, who couldn’t find purchase for his power in the thick mud, and cruise to the victory.
Nieuwenhuis took the jersey off the shoulders of another teammate, Lars van der Haar, who had to avoid a crash at the start when Ryan Kamp tangled with Mees Hendrikx and then hit a hole, crashing and losing time he could never regain.
On the first lap, Ronhaar took the lead as Nieuwenhuis went into the pits for a fresh bike but the pair were together soon after. Nieuwenhuis moved into the lead on the third lap and Ronhaar appeared to not have dialled in his equipment choices, and suffered several minor mishaps.
The brief delay for Ronhaar was all Nieuwenhuis needed, and the yawning gap seemed to sap Ronhaar’s morale. The harder he tried, the more mistakes he made, and the bigger his teammate’s advantage grew.
By the end, with a lead of nearly a minute, Nieuwenhuis had enough time for a victory lap, giving thumbs-up and high-fives as he powered to his first elite national title.
World champion Mathieu van der Poel did not compete in the Dutch championships as he was in Spain for a training camp.
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