As I stated last week, the European schedule is filled with mid-week races over the coming weeks. This week Woerden, in the Netherlands, hosts it’s 12th annual night race. While the race is predominantly Dutch, many Belgian, and other international stars head to this race. The race hasn’t been won by a Dutch rider since Richard Groenendaal in 2005 (in 2006 it was the Dutch national championships). However, a Dutch rider has finished on the podium every year except three (2000,2001,2003). How will things go this year? Here’s what I think will happen:
Kiremko Nacht van Woerden (C2)
Lars van der Haar – in our season preview, I said that I consider van der Haar one of the top-ten, if not, top-five, riders in the world. After petitioning the UCI last year to race with the Elite Men this season (he’s under 23 still), he’s proven that he deserves to fight with the big boys. A runner-up last year, look for him to win tonite.
Bart Aernouts – last year’s winner in Woerden, Aernouts will have to settle for second behind Dutch phenom van der Harr. While Aernouts does have a sprint, it’s nowhere near as strong as van der Haar. Unless Aernouts can get away early, I think he’ll have to settle for second.
Twan van den Brand – this young Dutchman is coming off an impressive ninth place finish in Tabor. I expect him to stick with the leaders for most of the day, if not until the very end. However, I expect him to take the third spot on the podium.