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Dutch officials show support for European championship

Dutch Federation's Harjan van Dam, Race Organizer Martin Pieterse and Frans Muijzers of Zoetermeer

Dutch Federation's Harjan van Dam, Race Organizer Martin Pieterse and Frans Muijzers of Zoetermeer (Image credit: Marcel Slagman)

By Marcel Slagman

The Dutch Cycling Federation (KNWU) is supporting the organization of the European cross country and trials championships in Zoetermeer. On Tuesday, KNWU director Harjan van Dam, race organizer Martin Pieterse and alderman of the town of Zoetermeer Frans Muijzers signed an agreement putting that support in writing. The European Championships will be held in Het Buytenpark, near the big indoor ski center Snowworld, from July 9-12, 2009.

"Our federation needs this kind of initiative," Van Dam said. ,"Sport exists thanks to people who organize good events. For us, it is important that mountain biking develops more in The Netherlands, and we are focusing on that."

"When riders like the Belgium champion Sven Nys or the Olympic champions Sabine Spitz and Julien Absalon come to Zoetermeer, it will give mountain biking as a sport in our country good exposure. And we need that.''

Pieterse of Stichting Wielerpromotion Het Groene Hart said that his organization will be ready to do the job in July. "People are excited. The course is 5.1km long. But certainly not flat, which is what many foreign riders maybe will expect.''

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