Felix Rijhnen won the gold medal in the marathon in Arnhem. It was a six kilometer lap through the city of Arnhem, crossing the River Rhine twice.
Was it your goal to win here? “Obviously I came to Holland with the goal to win another world title. Last year in China I won my first one in the pointsrace. My championship was not off to a good start because I crashed in the first race on the track and since then I had quite some trouble with my shoulder and a lot of wounds. All the races I was suffering quite a lot and I couldn’t really compete at my normal level. So today I just wanted to give everything, try everything. That I finish here at the top step of the podium in my favorite race is just amazing. I’m super happy, super proud.”
How did the breakaway happen? “There were quite some hard attacks, Bart Swings was in two very dangerous moves. Then when the peloton caught him back, I think about half-way, another group went. And first I missed a group, then my teammates (Patrick Reuter, Sebastian Mirsch, Philip Forstner mainly) helped me to chase back and I jumped into the break away. We were a group of about 8 to 10 guys. I had to do a lot of work in the group because the French (Timothy Loubineaud) and the Dutch (Ingmar Berga) didn’t really want to bring to group to the finish. So I had to work a little bit more than what I wanted to. But luckily I still had enough energy in the end to win the sprint.”
You couldn’t let the juniors do all the work either.. “No and I didn’t want to, everybody is there for their country and everybody wants to win. I didn’t try to play anyone. I was just trying to work as much as I could and still save a little bit for the sprint and it worked out.”
There were three juniors in the break-away, Mateo Barrison (ita), Thomas Bohumsky (cze) and Jason Suttels (bel). Felix: “I’m also super happy for Jason, he got third in such a high class race. It’s amazing. We were also training together the days before the Championship started. So I’m really happy and proud about him.”
Pictures: Hidde Muije