Geraint Thomas, the winner of the Tour de France, also won the cycling criterion in Surhuisterveen on Tuesday. The Welshman defeated the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (second in the Tour) in the sprint. Groningen cyclist Bauke Mollema came third. The criterion drew about 40,000 spectators.
Last Sunday, the organisation of the so-called Profronde managed to contract the tour winner for the “rounds around the church”. The winner of the Tour de France always is one of the main objectives of the organisation. Last year, they managed to get Chris Froome in Surhuisterveen.
In the weeks after the Tour de France, there are several cycling races throughout the Netherlands with short laps through the city center of various locations. On 8 August, for example, the Golden Arrow (Gouden Pijl) will be held in Emmen. Cyclists like Bauke Mollema, Tom Dumoulin, Dylan Groenewegen and Niki Terpstra will be in the peloton.
Around 250,000 euros has been set aside in Surhuisterveen for putting together a cycling peloton. According to reports, Geraint Thomas will receive around 50,000 euros for his performance in Friesland. Together with teammate Luke Rowe, Thomas landed at the airport of Eelde on Tuesday afternoon in a private jet. After the criterion, he is believed to be staying at Landgoed Lauswolt in Beetsterzwaag.