Van der Haar leads Trek one-two to score Dutch cyclocross title

Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek) wins the 2023 Dutch championships
Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek) wins the 2023 Dutch championships (Image credit: Matthias Ekman/www.matthiasekman.de)

Baloise Trek Lions dominated proceedings at the elite men’s race of the Dutch National Cyclocross Championships, with Lars van der Haar leading home teammate Joris Nieuwenhuis after the pair had led the race almost start to finish.

The race, run in heavy rain in Zaltbommel, took in seven laps of a course that only got wetter and muddier as laps ran on.

For many of those laps, it was Van der Haar – three times a champion previously – and Nieuwenhuis who were riding around alone at the front, the pair only settling the win late on the final lap of seven.

Ryan Kamp (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) rounded out the podium in a distant third place, having chased alone for much of the race after losing contact with the front early on.

Trek's domination may have been even more complete had Pim Ronhaar had a bit more luck on the second lap. Both he and 19-year-old Tibor Del Grosso (Metec-Solarwatt) were with Van der Haar and Nieuwenhuis at the start of the circuit, having separated from the rest of the racers at the front.

However, both made separate mistakes in the middle of a series of tight corners early on the lap, leaving the eventual one-two finishers to ride away.

Even from the early laps of the race, it didn't look as though there would be much chance of the pair being brought back. Kamp eventually emerged as the best of the rest, though he rode along at around 30 seconds down for much of the race.

Further back, Ronhaar would eventually drag himself back up to fourth place, passing Mees Hendrikx (Crelan-Fristads) and Corne Van Kessel (Deschacht-Hens-Maes) to work his way into a decent final result.

Up front, Van der Haar and Nieuwenhuis rode wheel to wheel, as they had done for much of the race, through the final lap. Neither looked capable of making a mistake, even in the awful conditions, but it was Van der Haar who managed to create a small gap late on the final lap.

From there, Nieuwenhuis, who was struggling with a broken cleat on his shoe, had no answer as he had earlier in the lap, and it was left to Van der Haar to claim his second Dutch title in a row.

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Daniel Ostanek
Production editor

Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.

 

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.

 

As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.

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