Huppertz hesitated at first, then took off too soon
Written by Christopher Adamets
Joshua Hubertz (Lotto – Kern House, left) | Photo: Dustin Streak / Lotto – Kern House
06.03.2022 | (rsn) – In the first race of the season, Team Lotto – Kern Haus managed to celebrate the top 10 of the year. In the new Dutch one-day race, at the Friesland Elfsteden Race (1.2), Joshua Huppertz placed eighth out of a leading group of 21 riders. Dutchman Elmar Reynders (Rewal) beat Mick Van Dyck (Jumbo-Visma Development) in a two-man sprint.
“I’m satisfied initially with the eighth. Mainly because the legs were so good. And against the numerical superiority alone, it was also a kind of lottery to go after the right attacks,” Huberts told radsport-news.com.
Just like his teammate Leslie Lorz, Huberts had made it to the leading group of 21 riders, who were to decide to win after 199km at Lieeuwarden. However, the Lührs retreated 50 kilometers from the finish after a flaw, leaving Huppertz to fend for himself. In contrast, the Dutch VolkerWessels Cycling Team was represented by six men at the top, Jumbo-Visma Defoe and three men.
After four other drivers fell behind in another edge-of-wind situation, the Dutch continental team wanted to play its numerical advantage in the form of attacks. “Here I tried to keep up with the attacks as much as possible,” said one of the fighters Huberts. However, he missed the decisive push from Reinders, van Dijke and Timo de Jong (VolkerWessels cycling team) with nearly 15 kilometers to go. “Unfortunately, I tried to get back on set too late. They were simply too far away,” Huppertz lamented.
However, the final match presented an unexpected chance to win. Because VolkerWessels Cycling has ridden from the front in the Huppertz group for the past few kilometres, despite having one man in the leading group. “Maybe they had the wrong guy up front and realized it too late,” Huberts doubts the Dutch team’s strange tactics.
In the end, she passed the leading group, 14 seconds behind Huppertz who was still fighting for fourth place. He remembers Huppertz, who ran out of steam after the 400m race and was the last time he crossed the finish line in his group.
“Had Leslie not had the flaw, our team would certainly have gotten a better place. But we can feel good overall. I think everyone did their homework in the winter and we can look forward to the next races with confidence. With a bit more luck we will definitely move forward after that.” Hubertz said in conclusion.
Team boss Florian Monreal also rated the start of the season positively. Monreal said: “Joshua drove a strong race, unfortunately he missed the last three exits. But overall we are very satisfied. We can see that the drivers are in good shape and we are already looking forward to Durbinumloop next week.” radsport-news.com
Immediately behind him was Tim Torn-Teutenburg (Leopard) in ninth place with a time of 21 seconds. The German sprinter also reached the first set, but lost touch in the final.
Germany’s second starting team, Donner Akkon, missed out on center stage at the season premiere. The young team led by Marco Muller Xhaka missed the jump in the first set. Jan Temmen was the only Dauner quintet to finish 57th.
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