The NL Crit Series managed to get a spot in the Hammer Series Limburg programme, a race organised by Velon (which consists out of several World-Tour teams). After the finish of the Hammer Sprint it was time for the fixed gear crit racers to enter the course. The circuit was co-designed by Kaj Verhaegh and was characterised by 2 very fast straights which were connected through super technical S shaped hairpins.
Text: Brian Megens & Merlijn Spenkelink
Photography: Merlijn Spenkelink & Steve Where’s Tom
The organisation of the Hammer Series was quite interested to see this race especially as the sons of two famous former pro cyclists, Miguel Indurain and Maarten Ducrot, were in the fixed gear crit peloton. In the Men’s A race, the technical course took its toll within the first laps of the race as several riders slipped out of the hairpins causing 7 riders to form the breakaway of the day. This group consisted out of 4 Team WIT riders, Davíd van Eerd, Cornelius Kersten, Kaj Verhaegh, and Jan-Willem Groeneveld. They were complemented by Brian Megens (FGC by Lemar), Luc Ducrot (Team FAST), and Miquel Indurain (Endless-Dosnoventa). Several riders attempted an attack but the technical corners made it too hard to establish a gap on the group. The 7 sprinted for the win wherein Kaj Verhaegh proved to be the fastest followed by his teammate Davïd van Eerd while Miguel Indurain took a 3rd place. By doing so, Kaj took his first fixed gear crit victory which was more than deserved especially after his strong performance in Red Hook Criterium brooklyn No.11 in which he took an 8th place and was in the front of the race almost the whole time.
In the Men’s B race the organisation decided to change the prime laps of the women’s and men’s B race due to the technical course. Instead of the second lap, the primes were at the finish of the eleventh lap. That way there was less chance of big crashes in the first couple of laps.
At the woman’s race Michelle and Tamara de Graaf, sisters, took the lead immediately. They could hang on to the first men’s group for a couple of laps but had to let them go eventually. Michelle came out as the strongest,taking the win in front of her younger sister, and also taking the prime. Susanne Bakkenist finished third and grabbed her second podium spot in a week!
Lots of riders showed up for the men’s B, but because of the technical parcours it was strung out quickly and gaps were opening up everywhere. A strong first group quickly formed and they kept the pace high enough to decimate to group into just 10 riders in the second part of the race. The mid-race prime was taken bij Dominik Schmitz who outsprinted Fred van Dapperen bij a couple of inches. In the final lap Max Dekker launched an attack, splitting the group in half right before the finish. In the final sprint it was Daan de Boer who took the win in front of Alex worgitzki, while Merlijn Spenkelink got third and grabbed the second podium spot for Spacemonkey in Geleen!