At 7 o’clock, just after the break of dawn the elite athletes were announced and sent off by gunshot for the official ETU European Championships and thus Challenge Almere has officially begun. Mayor Annemarie Jorritsma welcomed some 550 athletes to the Esplanade and at 7.10PM she sent off the agegroupers for their race.
Some tensed faces as the professional athletes entered the pontoon. For the Dutch athletes there’s an extra edge to today’s race, as it is also their national championship. Favourites for the title are threefold champion Dirk Wijnalda and two times Almere winner Heleen bij de Vaate. Overall winner will be expected at the finish line around 3.15PM.
Follow all of the action live in the special Challenge Almere app, on Twitter and Facebook, or log in to the live registration at http://media.streampartner.nl/player.php?url=upncfy8cph5chety8wpn