On 19 and 20 January the first Interland of the year has been held in Alkmaar. I participated in Netherlands 1 on the Keirin, Sprint, Team Sprint and the Scratch 600 Meters. On day one it begun with the Keirin. I won my first heat, so I qualified myself for the finals. In the finals I took the lead and gained speed during the open laps and gave full gas the last half lap. No body came even close to me, so I had my first win of the weekend. The program proceeded with the Sprint. My 200m legs were far away, which resulted in a bad time of 11,68. Fastest was Dutch newcomer Melvin Boskamp with 11,44.
In the first lap a guy from Belgium was my oponent. I took the lead from the start. When he tried to pass my I gave full gas and forced him to take position behind me and easily went to the semi-finals. In the semi-final Melvin was my oponent. He surprised me with 1,5 lap to go. I came back and in the last metres of the race I passed him, making me win with only a few inches.
In the final GB rider Kian Emadi (11,64) was my openent. I started in second position, and the last half lap looked like a copy of the race against Mike. I passed Kian in the last metres of the race, and again won with only a few inches.
On the second day the Team Sprint and the Scratch 3 laps (750 metre) were on the program. I had terrible legs at the Scratch. I won my heat easily, but in the final I couldn’t pass Kian and gave up finishing last and 6th. My last component of the weekend was the Team Sprint with Melvin and Michael Vingerling (Eurponean Champion on the Scratch, 6 time National Champion on the track and road champ). Melvin started with a decent time of 19,4. I did the second lap and Michael the third. I had a bad lap and Michael wasn’t that fast too. Michael stoped the time at 50,2 which ment we won.
Last weekend (16 and 17 February) the second Interland of the year has been held in Ghent, host of the 2006 Junior World Championship. I participated in the Keirin, Sprint and Team Sprint.
On the Day one the program started with the Keirin. In my heat I was with another Dutch Sprinter Rick Overwijk. As soon as the derny pulled of he gave full gas trying to make me win. It worked and I won, going straight to the final. In the final the other tried to block my way, but when the derny pulled of I found a gap and took the lead. I was hoping that a rider would pass me from above, and Melvin Bosmap did with a lap to go. Just before the last turn I gave everything and passed Melvin relatively easily and I won the Keirin.
Between the Keirin series and the final was the Team Sprint. I opend with a super fast – for me super fast… – lap of (first 125 metres in 11,7). But beacause of my fast start our second man Rick Overwijk couldn’t hold my back wheel. He lost lots of metres on me and clocked himself in 20.1 so we don’t know my 250 time. Too bad. Rick didn’t had a good second lap too and Melvin did the last lap. We finished at a bad time of 50,6.
On the second day the only thing was the Sprint. I was faster than in Ghent, but still a bad time of 11,59. With a PB of 11,25 I’m still working hard on getting close to that time. Officialy I was second, but the fastest time,of a Chech, wans’t correct. But the jury wouldn’t listen to our protests.
My first oponent, Ralf Dieltjens (Belgium) took the lead. But just before the last corner I gained speed making me pass him and won. In the semi-final Rick Overwijk (11,64) was my oponent. He took the lead and I suprised him with a lap to go. When he tried to pass me I gave everytinh forcing him to my back wheel. I won.
In the final my oponent was Melvin Boskamp (11,70). In the first heat I had the lead. I gave him lots of advices over the last few weeks because he just started on the track. He probably listened and looked how I did it. He almost won with the tactics I told him. But I could hold him off with only a few inches on the finish. Pff…
On the second heat I used the same tactics but I succeded. I passed him in the last corner making me win comfortable. I feel really good about this heat. I felt really really strong. I think I was even better this weekend than at last years Europeans when I did my PB on the 200. So I will keep working to get my fast(er) times back and – ofcourse – get even faster.
My good results of the weekend were noticed by the biggest National Cycling Magazine. They wanted an interview with me and it will be placed in the February editon.
I hope you enjoined my story. Sorry for the spelling mistakes, but it was a long piece, so forgive me…