Oscar Riesebeek is back! After his nasty crash in the 4 Jours de Dunkerque, which resulted in a concussion, he managed to get a good result in his first race: he finished fourth in the Circuit de Wallonie! “I felt no pain anymore and my basic condition is good.”
Only 96 were at the start of the Circuit de Wallonie (1.1) in Charleroi. This resulted in an open and attractive race, partly under the impetus of a strong Roompot – Charles Cycling Team, which forced a split in the peloton. Only some fourty riders were in the first group. For the others the race was already over. Roompot – Charles was the only team represented at the front with all seven riders.
Our team had always at least one rider in the changing leading groups. With 40 kms to go, Oscar Riesebeek accompanied Niki Terpstra and Baptiste Planckaert and escaped from a thinned-out group of about fourteen riders. Riesebeek would eventually finish in fourth place, just outside the podium. Here’s his reaction after the race.
“I was a bit scared because it was my first race after my injury. I hadn’t been able to train properly. But the crash didn’t bother me anymore. My basic condition is good. I’m very happy with that.”
“I didn’t think I would be in the final today. They went really fast up front. When Terpstra took off I thought “I have to follow” and so I did. Also Planckaert reacted. We were doing our turns well. It was a good situation. If you’re up there with three riders, it’s tactically possible to win the race. If you attack and they look at each other for just a moment or they refuse to behind you… Even though they are of course two very good riders. I mean Terpstra is world class.”
“With three you’re guaranteed a podium finish. You can go all in. Worst case you end up on the podium, but you can also win. But then Terpstra stopped doing his turns. It soon became clear why. But then you have to ride with your head, otherwise you risk a counter attack. So then Anthony Turgis and Thomas Boudat closed the gap, two fast guys. Planckaert is fast as well. It was a bit of a downer for me, because I’m not that fast. When the two Total – Direct Energie riders joined us, I knew that it would be practically impossible to escape. They would always close the gap anyway and they kept the pace high.”
“I was surprised when they closed the gap on us. A bit frustrated too, but I can’t blame my teammates. They escaped at a difficult moment for them, I heard afterwards. That’s why nobody from the team managed to follow them. Of course I didn’t know when they had taken off.”
“The team was great today. We were the only team with every rider in that group of 35. That says a lot about the positive attitude of our race. It’s a shame we didn’t make it to the podium, because it’s one of the best races we’ve had this year. It would have been nice to be able to reward the team for that.”
Two Roompot – Charles riders finished in the top ten. Forty seconds after Riesebeek, Arjen Livyns crossed the line in ninth place. Our other results: Sjoerd van Ginneken (17), Mathias De Witte (21), Huub Duyn (25), Stijn Steels (27), Justin Timmermans (DNF).
Photo: Cor Vos