Place 2 - Wilco Kelderman
Rider type: Stage Races
Biggest success: 1st Thüringen-Rundfahrt
Team 2011: Rabobank Continental Team
Team 2012: Rabobank
Best Mock List-placing: 4th (2010)
Coming straight from the juniors Kelderman managed to place fourth on the mock list last year. Never before has a first-year Under 23 rider placed better. That says enough about the status with which Kelderman has gone into this season. Last year at the same place I was afraid that the Dutchman would dominate the U23 class at will. It has not happened ultimately, at least not always.
Sometimes, however, he dominated at will. After he had broken the clavicle in February in the first race in the Netherlands in a fall of the top group, an operation followed in the beginning of March, and at the end of March he was already back to his first Top 10 results in x.2 races, which I generously simply skip at this point. The true dominator Kelderman showed in June at the Tour of Norway (2.2). Although he won the overall standings without a single stage win, his racing style, however, painted a clear picture. On the first stage, he attacked on the last climb and only ex - professional Wilmann and a certain Danish almost- Tour de France-winner could follow. In another stage he wanted to make a mountain a little difficult by making the pace to prevent any attacks, and so to defend his jersey. As he turned around a short time later he was alone. Thus, the second lead the mini Rabo had after five stages does not reflect the true balance of power.
Three days later, Wilco started in the national time trial championship - and won. "Of course", one might almost add, even if he had not even thought about it.
Five days later the Thürigen - Rundfahrt was on the program, traditional Mini Rabo - country. It could be expected that the strongest rival of the Dutchman would be the Australian team Jayco at full strength. The Australians also won the opening team time trial in front of the Rabos. At the Arrival on the hill in Oberhof Ludvigsson surprised the favorites with an attack and won in front of Kelderman, who won the sprint of the rest of the group. Last year in the same place I still marked the sprint as his biggest vulnerability. In the mountain time trial the 20-year-old could play to his strengths in the mountains and in time trials. The stage win and the leadership belonged to him, the competition was clearly at a disadvantage. The next victory followed the next day - and this win was much more surprising than that of the previous day. As a rider with the sprint as a major weakness he won the mass sprint in the final stage in front of Luke Rowe, who is one of the fastest in the U23. That the tour win was also well assured is needless to say.
After the national championships in late June, when he was seventh in a tactical race, there followed a one-month break, which he finished with the Tour d'Alsace. Although the next form peak only is scheduled in the Tour de l'Avenir (2.NC) in September Keldermann won the angular prologue of the Tour de l'Ain (2.1) against the gathered French elite.
If Tour de l'Avenir form is similar to the June form, Kelderman is a safe bet in France to go into the race as a favorite. There, he is likely to meet there the next mountain dominator: Nikita Novikov. The first meeting of the two probably best U23 riders is eagerly awaited.
At the World Championships in Copenhagen Kelderman will probably only play a role in the time trial. A medal seems possible but difficult, especially since the Jayco-Australians Durbridge and Hepburn are probably still a little stronger in the fight against the clock.
The friend of the U23 World Champion Cross Lars van der Haar needs not worry whether a Medal would make his future or not, because he has a long term professional contract with the major Rabos in his pocket.
In private, Wilco Kelderman is engaged to Rebecca Talen, daughter of ex – professional John Talen. Rebecca is also successful in cycling, so the duo Wilco Kelderman - Rebecca Talen could well be the Steffi Graf - Andre Agassi of cycling. And any children might be feared by opponents in a potential cycling future.
Due to back problems caused by several crashes during the Tour du Poitou Kelderman was not able to take part at the Tour de l’Avenir. He will also not start in Copenhagen.
Nominated by ogkempf, written by ogkempf, translated by bugno