Last year I wrote:
Today will see the third edition of the Eneco Ronde van het Groene Hart (Round of the Green Heart). This race wants to show the world how beautiful Holland's so-called green heart is. This is the more or less rural/agricultural area right in between the ring of cities that form the Randstad. Since this race passes right through my home town I think it deserves some PdC love, even though it’s not a VDS race.
Guess what. This year it is a VDS race. Cat 6 but it will only go up from now on of course.
Start will be 11.40 AM local time with a ticker starting right away. Live feed will be available on the website from 15.00 to 17.00 hours. Hopefully not geo-restricted. More about the race on the flip. Start list.
Describing the profile is easy. It's 207 km with a parcours that is as flat as zombie Garin's heart rate. Still the wind and length usually make it a war of attrition anyway. Last year more than half the peloton stepped out in the feed zone. The riders came over the finish in small groups with big time differences. A group of 7 (including 2 Milrami and 3 Vacansolista) battled for victory in the end. Geert Omloop surprised Graeme Brown (who had worked hard countering attacks in the final part of the race) and won the race. Third was Aart Vierhouten.
If it comes to a sprint the win will probably go to Omloop, Brown, Traksel, Wagner or van Hummel. Especially Skil will want to take revanche for the disaster at Nokere Koerse where they dominated a large part of the race only to see both sprinters go down in a crash 7 km from the line. But there are quite a few names on the list who could go for a win in another way. Mollema, Eeckhout, Roulston, Guldhammer or Westra would be suspects in this category. But maybe Footon-Servetto or Xacobeo Galicia can surprise us.
Best part for me is that I can go watch the riders pass a few hundred meters from my house. Last year I went with my 3 year old son and it was a great experience. First impression of live racing for him. We saw the riders only shortly, of course, but the police clearing the road was also great in his perspective. This year I plan to go with my two sons (2 years old and (now) 4 years old). The finish is not far from here too but that probably will have to wait a few years considering the family's energy balance.