Groenewoud was busy pulling the sprint for Schouten, but due to poor communication between Schouten and his coach Jillert Anema, Schouten was too far away to recover from his teammate. “It went a bit badly,” admits Groenewoud.
The question was when the Dutch would start the final sprint, 500 or 700 meters from the finish. “The coach said something different, I said something different and Marijke thought something different,” said Schouten, who was finally able to accept the result. “Marijke has earned it herself. So it’s a part of a team, I’ve been saying that for years.”
In the previous two NKs, Groenewoud won the silver medal behind Schouten, who is a stock wholesaler, but she can now emerge from the shadow of the big favorite. He has also won both World Cup matches this season, still ahead of Blondin. Groenewoud won the bronze medal the first weekend.
Bergsma bridges the gap
On the men’s side, Peter Michael from New Zealand came out early in the race. The defending champion Jorrit Bergsma therefore had to chase after. Bergsma, who has to rely on a long breakaway from the mass start, closed the gap for teammate Arjan Stroetinga and lost his chance to extend the title.
In the sprint, Mantia was one size too big for Stroetinga by then. Belgian Bart Swings sprinted to bronze.