Almere – 15-09-2013 – Trophies are an integral part of a first division championship league and so the winners of the Lotto Premier Division Triathlon in Almere were honoured today with the presentation of silver plates. The men in the Team4Talent prolonged their title which they had won last year and the Hellas women from Utrecht became the national champion for the first time. In the closing team relay, both title contenders proved too strong for the assembled competition, making them the undefeated champion. For the second time, Challenge Almere-Amsterdam was the setting for the Premier Division final.
With four wins in four competitions, there seemed little for the champion contenders to fear. The competition thought differently however and made the race difficult from the start. Tom Havekes van Snellewielen.nl was the fastest swimmer out of the water in the first series, but suffered damage to his bicycle in a cycling accident when he fell over Menno Koolhaas from Oceanus Aalsmeer, who in turn had come into contact with Vincent Böhm from ZeroD/Squadra Veloce. Koolhaas was able to continue further, as was Böhm, who had pushed Martijn Dekker from Team4Talent to the back during the running. After the first change, the Belgian Tim Brydenbach made it difficult for Mark Oude Bennink on behalf of the Eindhoveners; it seemed that a surprise was in the making. With a strong swimming leg, Evert Scheltinga brought his younger brother Cornelis back to order, decisively took the lead for Team4Talent and pushed ZeroD/Squadra Veloce back into second place, where they would stay until the finish. Due to Snellewielen.nl losing their leading position, the way was opened for the Challenge/TVA Almere home team. The Almere talent competed extremely well, were third in the day’s results securing themselves a place on the podium in the final rankings. Towards the end of the competition Triteam4Unicef raced strongly to close the gap, for which they were rewarded with fourth place, beating Trimates from Utrecht and Step One from Borne. In the final rankings, the Rotterdamers from Triteam4Unicef were fourth, ahead of Snellewielen.nl. Vivera/Triade from Zwolle came last today and the club also ended last in the competition. The men from Zwolle were thus relegated to the Apex 1stDivision Triathlon.
Hellas was also put under pressure at the beginning of the competition. Rina Zijgers, returning after an injury, missed the leading group after the swimming and had to join in hot pursuit. Team TBB took the lead just as they have frequently done this season, but were one athlete short and because of this the pink brigade fell back to seventh place near the end of the competition. Martine Bruinsma from GVAV/GSTV Tritanium, Ilona Eversdijk from Step One and Inge Heus from De Dolfijn were able to create a gap between them and the pursuers. Hellas needed a little time to get back on track, but managed to continue unchallenged to the end of the competition and to victory. Maud Golsteyn took Xendurance/LD Team to second place with a powerful run and Pleuni Hooijman was able to gain a place on the podium for De Dolfijn again. The Amsterdamers were third today, just as in Veenendaal. The final rankings were the same as the day’s results, with the international brigade from Team TBB in fourth place. Despite a good race, Challenge/TV Almere was not able to prevent relegation to the Apex 1stDivisiion Triathlon.
After five competitions, with a team triathlon in Enschede, individual spring triathlons in Amsterdam and Stein, the Olympic distance in Veenendaal and the team relay in Almere, the Lotto Premier Division Triathlon edition 2013 has come to an end. The champions have been honoured and the relegations made known. In 2014 edition three of the Lotto Premier Division Triathlon will start again in May. Dates for the new race calendar will be announced in the autumn.