The 22nd edition of the GP Groot Egmond-Pier-Egmond was won today by outsider Stijn Appel. After the loop in Wijk aan Zee, he grabbed a wide lead and did not relinquish it. In a time of 1:03.20, he more than deservedly finished first on Boulevard North today. Among the women, Dutch road champion Riejanne Markus crossed the finish line first. After an exciting battle with Pauliena Rooijakkers, Markus managed to make up the difference after the loop in Castricum aan Zee and took the win in 1:15.22.

It was an uphill battle on the beach. The strong wind from the south made for a big breakaway on the way out, so on the way back the attack for the win could begin. Several attempts to create a gap with the peloton accomplished nothing. The favorites for the win were not at the front of the pack on the way out, forces were saved for the way back. Only just before the first loop in Velsen-Noord did a stretched ribbon of cyclists form, with Zonneveld, Appel and Welling sticking together. Appel rode away 300 to 400 meters just before the loop, but after the first technical stretch the difference was minimal again. Stijn Appel managed to increase his lead in Wijk aan Zee, so it soon became clear heading into Egmond aan Zee that Appel was going to win.

Stijn Appel did not dare to dream so much beforehand. An outsider, he crossed the finish line first and recorded his first victory on the beach. “This is a really nice one to start the beach season with. I knew I had chances and was strong, but then I had to ride away first. There was a small group away, when the pace stopped I just kept going. I rode alone for a long time. Zonneveld still connected, but at Wijk aan Zee I rode away solo.” Belgian Jordi Warlop followed close behind in second in 1:03.23. Thomas Joseph, also from Belgium, took third place in this 22nd edition (1:03.26).

Riejanne Markus, Dutch road champion, wins in women’s event

The ladies were able to join the large men’s peloton until the Noordpier today, which included Thomas Dekker and Laurens ten Dam. At the loop in Velsen-Noord, Riejanne Markus, Tessa Neefjes, Eva Buurman and Maud Rijnbeek stepped up the pace. Cousins re-entered the beach first and accelerated toward Wijk aan Zee. Many gaps had to be closed, but at Wijk aan Zee, Jumbo-Visma rider Riejanne Markus took off. Pauliena Rooijakkers joined in and together they created a gap from the remaining riders. Together they rode back to Egmond aan Zee, where the race was decided at the beach entrance in Markus’ favor. “Glad I was able to get the win today, this is one you want as a beach racer. The girls on our team are doing well in the cross, so I have to keep up with the young girls as well and I did that today.”

Edition 2024

The next edition the GP Groot Egmond-Pier-Egmond will take place on Saturday, January 13, 2024.

Registration is possible beginning in mid-August.

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Photos: by Sjef Kenniphaas of course