Swinkels just misses out on victory in Veenendaal


With a race in its own country, Team Jumbo-Visma was keen to people form well. Early in the race, a nine-rider leading group emerged, including Teuntje Beekhuis and Riejanne Markus. After this group was caught, it was Swinkels’ turn. The woman from the Dutch province of Brabant got the French Verhulst with her.

They worked well together and created a two-and-a-half-minute lead. Several teams in the peloton tried to close the gap. At ten kilometres from the finish, the peloton had reduced the gap to the leading group to forty seconds, but thanks to the yellow-black brigade, Swinkels kept ahead. The wet and tough race ended in a sprint-a-deux. In this sprint, Verhulst was slightly faster and Swinkels had to settle for second place.

“When you’re in the final, you want to finish it off. So I’m disappointed. But I’m also proud that I managed to get on the podium and stay in the breakaway. I was hoping there would be another group joining us. The collaboration with Verhulst was excellent. We kept pushing. If you have to fight it out in the sprint, the result is fair”, Swinkels said.

Race coach Marieke van Wanroij had given her riders a clear task. “We wanted to play the game as a team and let the riders communicate with each other. That happened. When Karlijn got ahead the second time, it turned out to be the breakaway. The gap was big enough to have confidence in Karlijn’s attempt. As a team, we decided to put everything on Karlijn. Thanks to good teamwork, Karlijn could ride the final with the team’s confidence. It’s a shame that she didn’t win, but we fought as a team.”