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Echoes

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Slag om Norg
« on: June 26, 2017, 21:58 »



The Slag om Norg was created in 2012 as a "national" race in Norg, Drenthe (Northern Netherlands). At that time I was carefully following the road seasons of every cyclocross rider and that race captured my attention since the top5 was a cyclocross sweep, with 4 Rabo Giant Offroad in the mix:

1 Mike Teunissen
2 Emiel Dolfsma
3 Tijmen Eising
4 Gert-Jan Bosman
5 Niels Wubben

Tweet by Niels Wubben:
Slag om Norg Super mooi dat #stradebianchii #stofhappen. Top 5 alleen maar crossers waarvan 1-2-4-5 #rabogiantoffroad ikzelf 5.

Slag om Norg, super beautiful. This  #stradebianchii #stofhappen. Top5 only crossers including 1-2-4-5 #rabogiantoffroad myself 5.

Since then several of these riders have retired from cycle racing while Mike Teunissen has switched to the road. Gert-Jan Bosman is not one of them though (leading on the picture above, Teunissen, 3rd place). The little blondie of Emmen, also in Drenthe has a passion for this race. He won the second edition and was top10 in all four first editions.  :)

Reason why cyclocrossers are doing so well on this lovely race is the dirt gravel roads that epitomise it. As such it could be considered a Dutch answer to the Tro Bro Léon.  :cool

When I made my first preview thread here in 2013 - Gert-Jan's year  :) - it was still a national race. 109km and 35km on clay! It had always been held mid-August from first edition to last year. For the first time it's been moved to early July. 

http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=3423.0

In 2014 it was extended to 170km with ~40 of them on clay. A non-crosser won Ronan Van Zandbeek.

http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=6482.0

In 2015 the race was 164km long, including ~50 of them on dirt road. Win for Johim Ariesen, who was prolific that year. That year the race also could have had a nice surprise as the initiator of it – Dirk Heuvelman – invited Magnificent Marianne Vos to race it … with the men ! Unfortunately, though magnificent she is, Magnificent Marianne Vos is not immune to injuries and her season by then was over. It could have been Magnificent Marianne Vos’ first race among the men, reminiscence of the great Alfonsina Strada. Shame!
http://www.rtvdrenthe.nl/nieuws/97055/Wordt-Slag-om-Norg-eerste-koers-van-Marianne-Vos-tussen-de-mannen

And so last year the Slag om Norg FINALLY was UCI sanctioned as 1.2 with a 204km distance including 60 of them on dirt road. Win for Fabio Jakobsen ahead of Twan Van den Brand.

And this year, it was once again promoted to 1.1 status, which means 100% pro!  :cool

The 2017 edition will be 190.5km long. I don't know what the exact dirt road distance is but this year they added a section on the local laps. So that should be longer than before as well: http://www.slagomnorg.nl/startinroden

Last March the organisers announced the presence of Mathieu Van der Poel, presenting him as a top favourite. It is still confirmed that he participates despite a mountainbike World Cup event taking place at the same time: http://www.slagomnorg.nl/vanderpoelstart

Looking forward to it. It's great to see a race that I had been following since creation and when it was so small growing just step by step up that status now. I'm just amazed and very pleased about it.  :)

Also Dagblad van het Noorden secures live coverage on  dvhn.nl until 2019: http://www.slagomnorg.nl/dvhn

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  • « Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 22:50 by Echoes »
    "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

    t-72

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    Re: Slag om Norg
    « Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 22:11 »
    Every time I read about this race, I think someone forgot an "e" at the end of the race name, and then I wonder why I never heard about it  :angry ,and why a race with that name is run right after the national championships  :S . The name sounds quite extreme too. :o

    (In Norwegian Norway is spelled as Norge. In addition, slag = battle and "om" = of in that context. So Slag om Norg is about as close to "Battle of Norway" as you can get without any connection at all  :lol )

    EDIT: The Norgian government should sponsor this  :)
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Slag om Norg
    « Reply #2 on: June 27, 2017, 22:36 »
    It will be the first time the race is held the week after the Nationals. Until last year it was mid-August.  ;)

    Van Zandbeek's win in 2014:




    http://www.roderjournaal.nl/nieuws/46938/koga-slag-om-norg-weer-stapje-hoger-en-beter/



    KOGA Slag om Norg: Again One Step Higher and Better

    Start at 3pm on the Brink in Roden, finish ~7.30pm on the Brink in Norg [CET]. The Slag is a UCI 1.1 race this year. Compared to last year it’s again a step higher: a real pro race. The field has received a quality injection with Team Roompot – Dutch Lottery.

    Northern cycling heroes such as Berden De Vries, Elmar Reinders and Coen Vermeltfoort are racing for that team in Northern Drenthe. Veranclassic Aqua Protect and Beobank Corendon are also teams that fit with that standard. The latter team is bringing a top favourite at the start namely Mathieu Van der Poel and he’s enthusiastic.

    Quote
    The Slag om Norg is one of the most beautiful races of the year and as a cyclocrosser a nice race to ride, I think. Road racing combined with technique. I find it fun.
    says Mathieu Van der Poel last May to Wielerflits. Then the field consists of the best continental teams from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Australia. A première: we have a Bolivian team at the start. A surprise element.

    Northern Riders

    Beside the two Roompot riders from Drenthe there are also Northern riders in continental teams. So Babydump Cyclingteam have Patrick van der Duin and René Hooghiemster along with Rick Ottema at the start.

    Former winner Gert-Jan Bosman [Gert-Jan raced the Ster ZLM Tour but he was not that good in form, he said. Little Blondie is still very passionate about telling his races on his website though.  :)] and Jeff Vermeulen for Destil-Jo Piels. Tijmen Eising – in previous editions several times on podium – starts for Metec – TKH p/b Mantel. The Frisian talent Harthijs de Vries comes for SEG-Racing Academy at the start, Fabio Jakobsen’s team, the defending champion is also along.

    New Gravel Section

    Not only has the field more quality but also the route has more beauty to offer. Beside the sections around Sandebuur, Boerakker and De Wilp, the riders are proposed an extra 800m gravel section  in Westervelde on the local circuit.

    The sections around Peest and Zeijen remains claasic in the Slag om Norg. Spectacular places for the public to watch and spectators are brought for free back and forth to the section.

    There’s a musical show after the race …
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Slag om Norg
    « Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 21:41 »
    So Mathieu Van der Poel eventually pulls out of the Slag om Norg in order to give priority to mountainbike racing. :( He has to defend his 3rd place in the World Cup ranking. Though I can understand it's tempting to defend a good ranking in the mountainbike World Cup as it can give him some fame, I do find it a shame because he seemed to be looking forward to it and it's a bit of an unkept promise to the organisers. Of course he did not know in March that he would be so good in mountainbike and that he would have a place to defend in the World Cup ranking. It seems that Mathieu is planning to pull out of other road races in order to focus on mountainbike this summer.

    http://www.slagomnorg.nl/node/232

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  • DJW

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    Re: Slag om Norg
    « Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 22:36 »
     :(
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Slag om Norg
    « Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 20:38 »
    Yeah in Mathieu Van der Poel's absence, teammate Gianni Vermeersch nailed it.  :cool

    I absolutely forgot about the race. :fp There was a live stream though. Shame on me.

    Report in Italian but I have no command of Dante's beautiful language. Only I understand that Gianni beat Jasper Asselman of Roompot and Dennis Bakker of Delta Cycling.

    http://mondiali.net/59973-slag-om-norg-2017-vince-vermeersch/

    It's the first win for a cyclocrosser in the Slag om Norg since Gert-Jan Bosman in 2013, so I'm really happy.  :D

    Apparently Mathieu Van der Poel had a total off-day in Andorra for the Mountainbike World Cup and did not finish. He could as well have been here but well he couldn't have known. Sad.  :(
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Slag om Norg
    « Reply #6 on: July 03, 2017, 20:35 »
    The irony is that Gianni Vermeersch was not scheduled to race the Slag om Norg. At the last moment he had to replace Mathieu Van der Poel. So he took a rest for the whole week before learning he had to start. :D

    http://www.rtvdrenthe.nl/nieuws/123565/Winnaar-Slag-om-Norg-Het-was-niet-de-bedoeling-dat-ik-zou-rijden-video

    (there's a video clip in the link  ;))

    It was an amazing race.*de Joshua Huppertz attacked after 5km along with Justin Timmermans ... and Gert-Jan Bosman!  :) They will stay ahead until less than 16km to go. Their maximum lead seemed to have been 6 minutes. It's hard to tell when they were caught but there was just a 6-man group chasing them. Vermeersch was among them.

    Gert-Jan was 9th. It's his 5th top10 in 6 editions and probably his most impressive performance on the race ever !!  :cool

    Taco Van der Hoorn was 4th
    Fabio Jakobsen was 5th
    Joshua Huppertz was 6th

    First non-Dutch win in Norg, as well. First Belgian win.  ;)

    Gianni claimed that being a cyclocrosser did not help 100%, for sure a bit in the corners but the equipment is radically different. It was a high level race.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Slag om Norg
    « Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 21:29 »
    ....

    First non-Dutch win in Norg, as well.
    .....
    Invite #astana Astana next year, this race should be won by a guy from *no Norge. Truls Korsæth is gravelbuster in residence and should give van der Poel a run for the money. :)
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Slag om Norg
    « Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 08:30 »
    I was wondering if the 1.1 status of this year really was a promotion because the field was not really high quality with all respect to the riders. I've also thought about that during the Elfstedenronde. I guess the promotion of so many single-day races to the World Tour and subsequently of many 1.1 races to HC level means that 1.1 status in 2017 is not so much better than 1.2 status or is it?  :S
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Slag om Norg
    « Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 21:11 »
    Tom Meeusen did not finish the race but the webmaster of his official website is bringing an interesting review of the race:

    http://tmeeusen.be/
    Quote
    Net als in de beroemde Strade Bianchi in Italië, wordt in het Noorden van Nederland sinds een paar jaar de Slag om Norg georganiseerd, een UCI 1.1 koers die grotendeels over onverharde wegen gaat. Terwijl de toppers op de weg in de Ronde van Frankrijk hun kas leegrijden, doet Beobank-Corendon, met onze Tom dat in en om Norg, 20km onder Groningen. De wedstrijd over 195 km heeft na een lange aanloop zes plaatselijke rondes.
    Na de schermutselingen na de start komt na een half uur koersen een vlucht met drie renners op met thuisrijder Gert-Jan Bosman, Justin Timmermans en de Duitser Joshua Huppertz. Die krijgen van het peloton een maximale voorsprong van 7 minuten. Een eerste achtervolgende groep rukt zich los uit het peloton, met daarbij onzen Tom en ploegmaats David van der Poel en Philipp Walsleben. Maar zij worden terug ingelopen. Dan is het de beurt aan die andere Beobank-corendon renner, Gianni Vermeersch. Hij zet de achtervolging in samen met vijf andere renners en diep in de finale, in de laatste plaatselijke ronde van 17 km, lopen zij de koplopers in! In die finale toont Gianne Vermeersch zich de sterkste en na een sterke ploegprestatie rondt hij hier knap af! Proficiat Gianni!

    1. Gianni Vermeersch (Beobank-Corendon), in 4u38'24"
    2. Jesper Asselman (NED; Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij), zt
    3. Dennis Bakker (NED; Delta Cyclingteam), op 6"
    ...
    31. David van der Poel (NED; Beobank Corendon), op 4'17"
    32. Philipp Walsleben (DUI; Beobank Corendon), op 4'17"
    39. Daan Hoeyberghts (Beobank Corendon), op 6'28"
    43. Marcel Meisen (DUI; Beobank Corendon), op 6'28"

    Just like in the famous Strade Bianche, there has been a race in Northern Netherlands - UCI 1.1 - for a few years already mainly on non-asphalt roads. While top riders are emptying their cupboards on the Tour of France, Beobank-Corendon with our Tom are doing it in and around Norg, 20km South of Groningen. The 190+ km long race has 6 local laps after a long approach.

    After a few escapes after the start there's a three-rider escape after half an hour of racing [so a bit longer that they said in RTV Drenthe] with Joshua Huppertz, Justin Timmermans and Gert-Jan Bosman. Those got from the peloton a maximum lead of 7'. A first chasing group escaped  from the peloton with among them our Tom and teammates David Van der Poel and Philipp Walsleben but they were caught back. Then it's other Beobank rider's turn Gianni Vermeersch. Together with five fellow riders he animated the chase and in the final lap of 17km they caught the leaders. Gianni Vermeersch proved the stronger and finishes off a strong team performance. Congrats, Gianni.


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