At the Dutch track nationals this week, Amy Pieters won the national title in the individual pursuit. She also won two silver medals in the omnium and on the madison together with Roxane Knetemann (FDJ-Futuroscope-NA).
The omnium was the first event of the Dutch track nationals in which Pieters participated and consisted of four events: a scratch race, an elimination race, a points race and tempo race. Pieters won second place in every event and took silver behind Kirsten Wild (Cylance).
"I knew beforehand that it would be a tough day, off the back of a hard training block and after training camp to Spain,” Pieters said. “I therefore used this day to find back my track legs. But it went better as the day went on and I'm happy with that."
The championships continued in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The points race on Wednesday, December 27, didn’t go well for Pieters and she had to make do with fifth place. "I really wasn’t fit, my legs just didn’t have anything," said Pieters afterwards. "I was far from fresh when I woke up and I noticed my bad shape during the race. There was just nothing in my legs."
Pieters managed to regain her form a day later in the individual pursuit over two kilometres. Both in the qualifying heat and in the final, Pieters rode against Loes Adegeest and twice she set a time below 3.40, with which she convincingly took the Dutch title.
"I think this is the first time I went under 3.40," Pieters looks back. "I was much more nervous for the second ride against Loes. I didn’t know how I would have recovered, but it was actually fine. I didn’t know Loes either. If you ride against girls you know, you know whether they are generally good or bad a second time. Now I really didn’t know. I couldn’t predict how she would do. But she was really strong."
Without Dutch Boels-Dolmans teammates on the track, on day 3 of the track nationals, Pieters participated in the madison together with former teammate Knetemann. Their main competitors were Wild and Nina Kessler (Team Hitec), the duo that eventually took the Dutch title. Pieters and Knetemann grabbed silver, the third medal for Pieters this week.
“The madison was good for Roxane and me," Amy reacts. "There were only six couples and that doesn’t make the racing any easier. You constantly look at each other. We did well, but one on one, the other two were just a little bit better.”
"I think it's a great pity that the racing was pretty tame throughout,” Pieters continued. “In the past, there were always riders who wanted to put the hammer down. We missed someone like Vera Koedooder, who always wants to race. There were hardly any attacks this time around.”
Pieters’ final race at the Dutch championships was the scratch race on Saturday night, a track event that most closely resembles a road race, with simpy the first across the line after a certain distance wins. Pieters didn’t take a podium place here, but overall, she is satisified with her results at the 2017 track nationals.
"I’m already looking forward to 2018," concluded Pieters. "I will tell more about my program later. First, I’m going to celebrate New Year’s Eve.”