It’s the second XTERRA World Tour win for van Edgom, who won this race two years ago, and the first XTERRA full distance victory for Diederiks.
In the men’s race, van Egdom took the lead on the first loop of the two-lap 1.5K swim in the cold waters of Wadden Sea, followed by friend and teammate, Tristan Olij (NED), and Arthur De Jaegher (NED).
“I was training last week with Jorik and he told me to come race XTERRA with him because it was a cool race, and it was, I am glad I did,” said Olij (pictured above left next to van Egdom).
Olij had taken the lead by the 12K mark on the 37K mountain bike course, with van Egdom tight on his wheel and Visti Graae chasing hard 45-seconds back.
“I was only in the lead briefly as those guys caught me when we hit the beach section,” said Olij. “I had the right tires for these sandy conditions, however, and managed to at least keep up after that.”
The sand sections were tough on the legs, and the elites heading into the bike-to-run transition were just hoping they had enough energy left for the run. Olij lead out of T2, with Visti Graae and van Egdom just seconds behind.
“On the last few kilometers of the bike I just tried to stay in contact, relax, and trust my run legs so I could be confident entering T2 with these guys,” said van Egdom, the reigning Dutch Champion in Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons who was also part of the 4th-place mixed relay team in Tokyo.
Van Egdom’s strategy worked, as he posted the fastest run of the day to take the win, followed by Olij a little more than one-minute later in second, with Visti Graae in third. Dutch Cross Triathlon Champion, Wouter Dijkshoorn (NED), finished fourth and Belgian Geert Lauryssen placed fifth.
Top 10 Men
Jorik van Edgom, NED
Tristan Olij, NED
Kristoffer Visti Graae, DEN
Wouter Dijkshoorn, NED
Geert Lauryssen, BEL
Yeray Luxem, BEL
Mathias Cloostermans, BEL
Simon Schwarz, GER
Arthur De Jaegher, NED
Peter Lehmann, GER
In the women’s race, Jindriska Zemanova (CZE) was first into T1, followed closely by Diederiks (pictured) and Christine Verdonck (BEL) in her first XTERRA race as an elite.
The trio stuck together on the bike taking turns up front into the head wind until Verdonck made a mistake and lost the pack.
“It was so hard after that to ride by myself, especially with the wind,” said Verdonck (pictured). “We had a tail wind on the way back on the beach and I managed to close the gap on Zemanova to stay in the game.”
Despite the wind being in their favor, the beach itself proved to be the greatest test as riders struggled to find a good line in the soft sand.
“Some parts were really fast while other parts were soft, but thankfully it’s a soft landing if you did fall off,” smiled Diederiks, who won the XTERRA Short Track Germany off-road triathlon last month and was second behind Sandra Mairhofer in the XTERRA European Championship full distance race the next day.
Diederiks took a one-minute lead on to the run ahead of Zemanova and never looked back.
“I was not confident heading out of T2 as I knew Zemanova was not far behind, so I started the run fast and had a hard time getting into a good breathing rhythm,” said Diederiks. “It was only on the second loop that I started to feel better and confident I could win. I’m very happy with this win, it was a great race, and different from the others so I was not really prepared for it.”
Zemanova finished three-minutes back in second, and after the race said, “I am very happy with the result, and to be in good shape ahead of the ET Cross Tri Championships in two weeks which is on a course that should suit me better.”
Verdonck finished third, just 20 seconds behind Zemanova, with Maaika Telkhamp in fourth, age group standout Anne Zijdervel from Belgium in fifth overall, then Linda van Vliet as the fifth-place elite.
A cyclist, tech geek at heart, a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of the world's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.