Race Report

Maats x Pas Normal Studios Race 2021

Text: Rob Schoof / Photos: Erik Mus

On the day that, after almost twenty years, another wet edition of Paris-Roubaix took place, the Maats x Pas Normal Studios Race was on the program for the third year in a row. Just like the past two years, this race was held at the ARC Ulysses velodrome in Amsterdam North. There was a small difference with the two previous editions: the weather. While the two previous editions took place in dry autumn weather, the weather on Sunday 3 October was brutal and harsh with a lot of rain and wind.

PNS Big Guy Ashleigh Jones addresses the troops and explains the race setup.

Race Setup

Nevertheless, no less than approximately 35 riders appeared at the start. Before the race started, there was  a 15 minutes warm-up to get used to the track and riding tempo in a peloton. After these 15 minutes, the bell rang for the first time, and the race was on, which meant there were 30 minutes + 3 laps, after which it would become clear who the strongest rider would be in the race of 2021.

How did the race go?

After the warm-up, the bell rang and the race was on. Everyone was battling for the front positions and the wet and slippery track in particular made for a stressful opening phase. It didn't take long for the strongest riders to report to the front, after which the pace skyrocketed. In no-time the peloton broke into several groups and most of the riders were sentenced to chase. 

After a few laps it became clear on which position all riders would belong in the race. Some riders had to let go of the leading and chasing group quickly and continued the race at their own pace. Because of this small groups, the same pace arose everywhere on the track. Unfortunately, other riders were unable to hang on to one of the groups and left the race with disappointment.

In no time small groups were formed everywhere on the track.

How the race was won.....

After a while six strong riders formed the front group. This group consisted of the two winners of the previous editions Ashleigh (winner in 2019) and Oscar (winner in 2020) and some other top favourites. Halfway through the race, Maats rider Floris von Bönninghausen thought that the pace was not high enough and decided to go out on his own. There was not enough cooperation in the group behind him and Floris' lead increased.

We already knew that Floris is 'geen normale' rider. Yet he surprised friend and foe with this attack and in particular that he could last so long. In his own words, it took more than 1800 watts to jump away from the leading group and he had to drive an average of 420 watts in the last 15 minutes of the race to stay ahead. This impressive numbers ensured that he stayed out of the hands of the chasing group and became the well-deserved winner of the Maats x PNS Race 2021.

The moment halfway through the race Floris decides to go out on his own.

After Floris' finish, it only took half a minute before PNS leader Ashleigh Jones and Joris Molenaar sprinted for second place. Jury footage had to be used to determine who ultimately took second place. After extensive analysis of the images, second place was awarded to Ashleigh Jones, and Joris Molenaar completed the podium on third place.

After the finish of the podium, the rest of the riders crossed the line. In the different groups that had arisen during the race, there were still escapes or sprints to finish as high as possible. Despite the heavy rain and therefore the slippery track, fortunately no riders fell, and everyone crossed the finish completely soaked but without injuries or crashes.

There was a lot to talk about after the race.

Jamie and Mads from team Denmark reviewing.

Was the event just a race and nothing more?

Despite the bad weather, everyone stayed for a long time at sports park De Weeren in Amsterdam North. Most riders quickly went to the showers and changed their clothes to enjoy nice hot coffee from Stooker or cold beer from Oedipus Brewing. There was also a food truck with delicious Falafel and Fries. The final of Paris-Roubaix was broadcasted on big screen. 

What about next year?

All in all, this day made for another successful edition of the Maats x Pas Normal Race - the bad weather couldn't change that. Thanks to Floris' win, it is now 2-1 in favor of Maats. Pas Normal would not be Pas Normal if they would stop at this and that is why they will be at the start next year with an even stronger team. Undoubtedly to be continued…

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