Laurine van Riessen has achieved her first World Cup victory at the Paris World Cup. The Leiden-born sprinter was rewarded with gold in the keirin in her first weekend of racing this season. Clubmate Nicky Degrendele crashed in the same event.
Earlier in the evening, van Riessen rode to third place in the second round. In the final, she took the initiative and launched herself forward with two laps to go and stayed ahead until she crossed the line.
Van Riessen said: “The start of this weekend was not what I expected from it. Together with Hetty van de Wouw, I’ve worked on the team sprint for a long time, and if it doesn’t work out the way you want it to, it’s very difficult to start your season. Yesterday the sprint went much better, especially with my personal record in the 200 meters. Today the first round of the keirin went great. In the second round I took third without wasting too much energy, and then the final was waiting. I didn’t want to get boxed in, but it was not my intention to get to the front so early. In the last lap I was convinced that everyone would overtake me, but I managed to stay in front. I am very happy.”
Degrendele went down on the line, but the world champion did not suffer any serious injuries. She did however head to the hospital for some routine checks.
Matthijs Büchli also participated in the sprint tournament today. After riding a qualifying session that he was not completely happy with, it quickly became clear that there was a very strong field of competitors today. Büchli managed to win his heat in the round of 32 but had to accept defeat to Polish rider Rudyk in the round of 16. “I would of course have preferred to go a little faster,” Büchli said. “But I’m also not very unhappy, because this is the first race of the season, and next week I will ride the team sprint and keirin in Milton, where I will be a bit faster.”
BEAT Cycling Club can look back with satisfaction on the first World Cup weekend. Roy van den Berg won gold in the team sprint on Friday with the Dutch team, Theo Bos raced to a very strong fifth place in Saturday’s keirin, and now van Riessen has taken gold in the women’s keirin, making it three successful days in a row, especially as the riders aim to peak later in the season.