The alarm went off at three o’clock this morning for Teus Ruijter, Gerben Mos and Tim Smeenge and at six o’clock the starting signal sounded for 200 kilometers through a wet and bleak Drenthe. The route had been adjusted a bit due to heavy rain, but it remained a real Drenthe 200 in which everyone arrived at the finish exhausted. Early in the race, five men took the lead: Gerben Mos, Tim Smeenge, Thom Bonder, Bas Peeters and Piotr Havik. After a long chase, Teus Ruijter managed to get back to the top five after losing connection on a mud section early in the race.
‘I accelerated on the Gieten mountain bike route and initially only Thom Bonder could follow. After he lost connection he eventually broke. From then on a long solo of 140 kilometers back to Roden began. We had a few heavy showers along the way and the infamous ‘Janpad’ more than lived up to its name this year. Great to win here for the third time in a row today,” said Smeenge.
The chasing group thinned out further and in Dwingeloo Mos, Ruijter and Bonder were the only men left. This trio rode to Veenhuizen via Appelscha and shortly afterwards Bonder ended up in a ditch, went under water and eliminated himself from the podium. However, he managed to hold on to fourth place after Ruijter and Mos, who came in second and third.
‘We started today with three men and after 200 kilometers there are also three men from our team on the podium, so it couldn’t have gone better. Just like in 2019, we occupied the entire podium again. In addition to Tim’s impressive performance, it is good to see the step Teus Ruijter has made, who just missed the podium last year. Gerben Mos is also on the podium again for the fourth time.’, said team manager Martin Schuttert.