Nieuwenhuis delivered a strong, top-notch performance at the Superprestige cyclo-cross race in Boom, just south of Antwerp, Belgium. That was clear for all to see at the Tomorrowland site. Joris Nieuwenhuis took control of the entire race and was ultimately able to cross the finish line with his arms in the air. IDLProCycling.com caught up with the eloquent Dutchman after the race!
De Schorre offers a spectacular setting for cyclo-cross racing. Once you're standing in the center field - where normally the main stage of Tomorrowland is located - you can literally and figuratively overlook the entire field. Can we at some point expect to see Nieuwenhuis, who is a big music lover, raving amongst all the other music lovers from all over the world? "I'm definitely going to do that, but it will still take a while," he laughed.
No, that cyclo-cross race in Boom is enough for him for now. "For spectators, it's one of the most beautiful cyclo-cross races to watch, it's super fun. Because it's such an open terrain, it seems as if the climbing isn't too bad, but it's actually more climbing than you think. It's really very tough."
Last weekend, Nieuwenhuis took a break, which possibly contributed to his win in Boom. Did that week in Spain help that much then? "For me, there is only one change, and that is that my lower back is holding up well. All the races I didn't do well in were because my lower back hurt a lot. I think we have really fixed that now and that it's simply going well."
So, his back is doing well, and the Baloise Trek Lions rider's legs are also going strong, pushing him full steam ahead. "I had my back treated before my training camp. During the training camp, I mainly made up for a training deficit that I had incurred when I became very sick just before the season. We wanted to boost that during the season, and it has worked out well," said the man from Zeddam in the Netherlands.
Nieuwenhuis had optimal training conditions in Spain
"In Spain, I put in a lot of hours and enjoyed a lot of sunshine," he continues. "I could never have done those hours at home, because the weather here was terrible. There, it was 20 degrees Celsius with no wind, so hopefully, we have now compensated for that. The intention was not necessarily to be very good already, we are mainly aiming to really deliver during the Christmas period. I feel there is still room for improvement, definitely."
Nieuwenhuis won his second cyclo-cross race of the year in Boom, on a tough course no less. "I think that through road cycling, I have a slightly bigger engine to use for certain courses, but I mainly think that it makes me more consistent over the course of a season. Looking back to before my road racing period, this was also the way to win cyclo-cross races: ride hard from start to finish. And that's still the case now," says the Dutchman, who is clever in dodging our question about whether he can beat the Big Three. His answer is very realistic. "Phew, nahhhh... who knows, of course. I'm just going to go for it, but that idea alone... that's not how I am looking at it."