The 45th Dorpenomloop Rucphen was the opening round of the 2022 Romfix Holland Cup, a series of 5 UCI 1.2 races held in the Netherlands. Tim Elverson’s team have traditionally fared well in this competition with Canyon dhb Bloor Homes team rider, Alex Richardson taking the overall individual win in 2019 and Canyon dhb SunGod’s Ryan Christensen leading the 2021 series. This was also the team’s 5th appearance at the Dorpenomloop Rucphen with their best performance being in 2020 when Canyon dhb Soreen riders Brent Jones and Matt Bostock finished in 2nd and 3rd places.
The largely flat wooded terrain of 186km with many narrow roads consisted of three large circuits of 47 km followed by two smaller circuits of 22.5km and finished in the centre of Rucphen.
- Dorpenomloop Rucphen landscape
The field consisted of one UCI Pro Team, a Great Britain national team and a variety of UCI Continental and non-Continental teams.
WiV SunGod were represented by the following riders in order below: Josh Whitehead, Damien Clayton, Jim Brown, Matt Gibson, Reece Wood, Ollie Wood & Ben Perry
- Team Presentation
The WiV SunGod riders rode well as a team keeping towards the front of the peloton and being alert to any dangerous looking breakaway moves, with Clayton notably bringing back a 2-man break with 37km to go.
- WiV SunGod help set the pace in the peloton
Canadian Ben Perry initiated a strong-looking group of 5 breakaway riders with 19.5km to go. They established a lead of close to 20 seconds but with Perry last to succumb, they were eventually brought back by the peloton with 12km to go.
- Josh Whitehead
5. Reece Wood
Maikel Zijlaard (VolkerWessels Cycling Team) almost immediately countered and escaped solo with 11.5km to go. He gained a lead of 25 seconds and never really looked as though he was going to be closed down by the desperately chasing peloton. Zijlaard was able to celebrate his comfortable win as the sprinters lead home the peloton with the Belgians Sasha Weemaes (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Timothy Dupont (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauzen-WB DT) taking 2nd and 3rd places. Ollie Wood was again the first WiV SunGod finisher sprinting to 8th place despite having to make a bike change earlier on.
- Ollie Wood sprints to 8th place
Perry 32nd and Recce Wood 37th also finished in the main group with Whitehead 43rd and Brown 44th in the next group just 12 seconds behind. Clayton was 67th at 1min 49sec with Gibson DNF.
- Reece Wood, Whitehead & Brown cross the finishing line
All pictures: Hugh McManus
Report: Paul & Marina Stedman