"I quickly realized that I couldn't put together a whole team"

“I quickly realized that I couldn’t put together a whole team”

National coach De Knegt explains why the Netherlands will not participate in the mixed relay at the World Championships

© Andre van den Indy
National coach De Knegt explains why the Netherlands will not participate in the mixed relay at the World Championships

A new part in the World Cup, but the Netherlands (the winner) does not participate. This requires an explanation…

The UCI will introduce a new component at the World Cycling Championships in Fayetteville next week. Like many other sports—and road and mountain biking—it hosts a mixed relay in Arkansas, where elite men and women as well as Promises and Juniors can participate.

In fact, the Netherlands dominate in all categories except the elite men, hence the title was available. However, Holland refused. This requires an explanation from national coach Gerben de Kneigt. He gives it to the Flemish newspaper Newspaperwhich immediately begins to debug.

“We’re not canceling. We’re simply not participating and that’s been planned for a while. I soon realized that I wouldn’t be able to put together a whole squad. There’s very little enthusiasm.”

The lack of enthusiasm is also related to the fact that it is a test event and therefore there is really no official world title at stake. In addition, due to the high costs of relocation, the Netherlands will only send a small delegation to the World Cup in Fayetteville.

“The fact that this was a test event also played a role with our riders. With Lars van der Haar and Kornh van Kessel, I only had two pros with me. In order to be able to start the mixed team rotation, one of them had to line up and there they weren’t interested, because they They didn’t see any added value. Don’t forget that this World Cup in America is an expensive trip for the federations. And that definitely played a part in shaping our selection.”

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However, De Knegt does not want to be too negative about discipline, but fears it after this failed test event. “This discipline has been in mountain bike for 25 years. Everyone participates – including the best riders, because there are UCI points to be earned. That is not the case here. I am really curious how many countries will start with a combat team showing up. If there are three or Only four, this event is doomed.”

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