8/23/2013 - NEWS!

Viviani wins Dutch Food Valley Classic

Napolitano and van Hummel round out top three


Cannondale's Elia Viviani won the Dutch Food Valley Classic. It's the Italian's fifth victory of the season after a stage win in the Criterium du Dauphiné and two stages plus the overall victory in the Tour of Elk Grove. Danilo Napolitano (Accent Jobs-Wanty) came in second, and Kenny van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM) finished third.

The race started late in the afternoon to provide a prime time finish around eight o'clock at night. It was one of the several adjustments to make the race more interesting. The opening phase of the race was eventful with several attacks.

"It was a tough first part of the day," Lars van der Haar told Cyclingnews. "When we first arrived at the local circuit around the Posbank climb, a group had attacked. I was at the front of the bunch and jumped. These are my training grounds, so I know every road and descent. I could take some risks and joined the first group."

Van der Haar of Rabobank Development Team was one of the 14 riders in the day's breakaway. The big teams like Belkin with Marc Goos, Vacansoleil-DCM with Willem Wauters and Argos-Shmano with Will Clarke were all represented. However, they never got more than 3:15 advantage because Viviani's Cannondale squad controlled the bunch to set up a sprint.

"When we entered the local finish circuit, the gap was getting smaller and smaller. Then you know things will be hard. When we crossed the finish line for the penultimate time, the peloton caught us," Van der Haar said.

There were four WorldTour teams at the start with renowned sprinters like Tom Veelers (Argos-Shimano), former winner Kenny van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Viviani. The ProContintal teams like Accent Jobs-Wanty, Topsport Vlaanderen and Crelan-Euphony also brought their fast men to the Netherlands. And the Dutch national team with WorldTour riders like Raymond Kreder (Garmin-Sharp) and Orica-Greenedge's Sebastian Langeveld was in attendance.

The Dutch Food Valley Classic, formerly known as Veenendaal-Veenendal, took place on a completely redesigned course. The newly appointed race director Thijs Zonneveld also implemented some new technology to make the race more interesting to both spectators as tv viewers.

"We wanted to alter the race course to give different riders a chance, and to avoid the inevitable bunch kick," he said in a preview. "We also got special permission from the UCI to mount Zepcam camera's on the riders' bikes to provide an inside view into the peloton."

Yet, the race ended in a bunch sprint. Van Hummel won the race in 2009 and had big ambitions for today. "I know all the turns here and all the descents, so that was an advantage for me," Van Hummel told Cyclingnews. "The finale was a tactical one in which my teammates Wouter Mol and Kris Boeckmans came to the front too early. Under the banner of the last kilometre, only Boeckmans was ahead of me and that was way too early."

Van Hummel already has six podium finishes this year plus one victory in the Arctic Race of Norway. The Dutch Food Valley Classic is his home race on his own training routes. The Dutchman couldn't turn his home advantage into a victory.

"Cannondale and other teams passed us in the final kilometre, and I had to spend a lot of energy to jump back to Danilo Napolitano's wheel. I did recover in the sprint, but it was too late. I was absolutely good enough to win here today but the other teams played the sprinting game better and more tactical," Vam Hummel said.

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Elia Viviani (Cannondale) won the Dutch Food Valley Classic
Photo: © Bettini

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