Oil on the chains
Air in the tires
Sweat on the skin
Rubber on the tarmac
Once in a year, in a small town in the south of Netherlands, the toughest cycling race of the Netherlands is taking place.
Either in cold rain or in dry heat, and due to the Dutch climate, often during the same race in a quick succession of both, riders have to fight for survival. Centerpiece is of the course is a 1 km long hill with a of 10% slope, which they have to climb 14 times in a course totaling around 100 km.
As much as a 10% slope does not sound impressive for a mountain course, for a country like the Netherlands, which for the better part has as highest road elevation a bridge over a canal, the ‘mountain race’ is probably the toughest race of the year for the riders coming from all over the flat country.
The drop out rate is very high. When the conditions are toughest, only as much as 20% of riders who started, might be able to finish the race.
The course consists of young riders, many of whom are still dreaming to be professional, one day. As also scouts for professional teams visit the course, many ambitious riders are eager to show the world what they are worth.