Van Dijk claims two gold medals in Denmark
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Van Dijk claims two gold medals in Denmark

by VeloNation Press at 11:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track, Press Release
Columbia-Highroad rider Ellen Van Dijk of Holland has taken a remarkable double triumph in the points and individual pursuit rounds of the World Cup track event this weekend in Denmark. Riding for the Netherlands, Van Dijk clocked the fastest time in the qualifying round of the individual pursuit before scooping gold ahead of Canada’s Tara Whitten.

“I couldn't relax, I was never sure of victory right up until crossing the finishing line,” Van Dijk said. “My coach told me if I was ahead or behind after each lap but never by how much, so I had to keep my head down and leave nothing to chance.”

Van Dijk said that taking the fastest qualifying time was good for my motivation but I wasn¹t pleased about the time itself.

“I thought I should have gone three or four seconds faster. But I was tired after travelling from the Tour of Qatar earlier in the week and I paid the price for that. It was a long way! What was good, though, was my condition. I knew I was in great shape after all the training camps and racing in Qatar, where I won the Best Young Rider¹s prize even if I didn¹t get a stage. Riding on the road has really helped my endurance on the track, too.”

In the points race on Saturday, Van Dijk’s victory was forged when she and four other riders staged an early attack and lapped the field.

“Getting that extra lap was really the key to it all, it meant I was able to open up a good advantage on the rest of my rivals early on and I could race more defensively. I was quite surprised I could get gold, to be honest. I¹ve won the points event in the European U-23s but the World Cup is a senior event, and another level altogether.”

On Sunday night Van Dijk will take part in one more event in the Copenhagen World Cup - the team pursuit event. Then she heads off to a training camp with the Dutch national team in Spain as part of the final build-up for the World track Championships, in Poland in March.

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