Niki Terpstra and Marianne Vos named as Dutch cyclists of the year
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Niki Terpstra and Marianne Vos named as Dutch cyclists of the year

by Ben Atkins at 10:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Rabobank honoured for “contribution to cycling” despite pulling out of the sport

niki terpstraNiki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Marianne Vos (Rabobank) were named as the Dutch cyclists of the year at the Netherlands Federation (KNWU) annual Wielergala last night. The awards were made at s’Hertogenbosch’s Theater aan de Parade, at the end of an evening presented by Dutch and Belgian TV presenters Mark Smeets and Michel Wuyts, with special guests that included former Tour de France director Jean Marie Leblanc.

Terpstra won the award ahead of Rabobank duo Robert GEsink and Bauke Mollema; his season saw him win the Dwars door Vlaanderen in March, which he followed with sixth and fifth in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix respectively; both behind teammate Tom Boonen. He then took his second Netherlands national title, before finishing third overall in the Eneco Tour, and was then part of Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s victorious World team time trial team.

He finished his season with third place in Paris-Tours.

Terpstra was not present to collect his award, as he was heading for Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s team building camp in Slovakia. He had already said that he would not attend however, as a protest against the non-nomination of Lars Boom (Rabobank) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM).

marianne vosWith a long list of victories that included both the World and Olympic championships, the World Cup, and the Giro d’Italia, there was never any doubt that Vos would take her seventh consecutive Keetie van Oosten-Hage Trofee. The 25-year-old beat Rabobank teammate and Netherlands champion Annemiek van Vleuten, and Anna van der Breggen (Sengers Ladies), who was in the winning break with Vos at the World championships and finished the race in fifth place.

“With passion and dedication, you can achieve a lot,” was Vos’ message to the theatre audience on the crisis that cycling currently faces.

A slightly more surprising award winner on the night was Rabobank, which was recognised for its commitment to cycling despite announcing its quitting of the sport due to the Lance Armstrong scandal. The Dutch bank sponsored its first division ProTeam for 17 years - later adding Continental, Off Road, and Women’s teams - as well as supporting the KNWU; despite - or perhaps because of - its imminent departure, the KNWU chose to recognise this.

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