On his podcast 'In Koers', the Dutchman explains how the race went before the fall. "We did an individual race on November 12 and a duo race on the 19th, on Curaçao. We were doing quite well, second behind Fabio Jakobsen and Marc de Maar. We were ten seconds behind, but we could always see them riding in front of us because we were on a long, flat stretch of sixteen kilometers."
At one point, the speedster hit the ground. "Pauline took over and there were very deep puddles, where I didn't want to take the risk of riding full throttle and then ending up in one of those puddles. I tried to stick to the edges and avoid the stones as much as possible, but then my handlebar got caught in a bush or shrub and I went headfirst into the water. That was nice," he says with a sense of understatement.
"The problem there is that you have this coral-like stone, which is super sharp. That's exactly what I hit my knee on, it looked quite nasty," says Van Baarle, who is not hindered by it in the run-up to the new season. "It's not too bad. The next day it was a bit stiff, but in the end, it all turned out to be okay. I ended up at the emergency clinic in Santa Maria, where they took good care of me."
Terpstra also wins duo-race on Curacao
Van Baarle still finished the race. "I did finish the race and we even won the mixed category. We lost 25 minutes in the end, but we took it easy. We stopped a few times to drink some water, and I fell again. We also went the wrong way a few times; it was a bit of a fox hunt. Fabio didn't win either because he got cramps in the final ten kilometers. Niki Terpstra ended up winning with a cycling buddy," he laughingly says about his vacation.