The final stage of the Healthy Ageing Tour was always going to be a challenge. The VAM-berg is not a long climb but 17 times in a row amounts to more metres of elevation than all previous nine editions of the race together! On Friday there was still a fierce storm in the Netherlands. Add rain and you have the recipe for a really hard race. Only one third of all the starters finished the race. NXTG Racing didn’t make the cut although Ilse Pluimers was close. 

I thought today was hard but also fun because I felt really strong. It went really well. The positioning was a bit hard at the beginning and that is really important on this 6,6-kilometre long but narrow circuit. The rest of the team really did a good job on the positioning and Charlotte managed to ride clear for a while. Unfortunately she was caught again.

My climbs went really well which enabled me to gain some ground in the peloton again. When the rain came the peloton was down to a few riders. I was in a group behind and was a bit too enthusiastic on the descent causing me to crash. I lost some skin and will feel really stiff but I am okay. It’s a shame because I was in a position to be one of the 34 riders finishing the race. I do take good things from today though and look forward to the next races. 

Because the race was on a closed cicruit the jury had to take out riders who were too far behind. This means that none of the NXTG riders got to finish the first stage of the season. 

Photography by Dick Soepenberg / Sportphoto Agency.