Place 12 - Jetse Bol
Type of Rider: Allrounder
Biggest Success: 1st Olympia’s Tour 2009
Team/Club 2010: Rabobank CT
Team 2011: not known yet
Best Mock List Ranking: new
If Jetse Bol were born just 15 km south of his actual birthplace, he probably would have become Volendam’s next worldclass-folksinger. If he were born just 20 km further to the south in Amsterdam, he may have become drug dealer, or soccer pro. But the picturesque town of Avenhorn is free from those clichés, and so Jetse Bol could do would he does best.
And he was very successful at it, even in his younger years: in the Junior category he won the Netherland’s time trial title in 2005. At the Juniors he could get good results in the Benelux countries, without being a big star internationally.
Even without super-star status he got a contract in 2008, his first Under 23 year, with the Mini Rabos. A good environment to develop into a Pro-rider, but also with the risk of drowning in a pool of talent. Not surprisingly then, Bol showed very little in his first season. 8th place as a helper of winner Vermeltfoort at Paris-Roubaix (1.2U) was the highlight of this year.
Also in 2009 nearly nothing happened that would justify hymns of praise and dreams of becoming a pro, were it not for a small race that has a large reputation in the Netherlands and is even shown as a summary on TV: the Olympia’s Tour. For seven years in a row Rabobank CT had won the race: Boom, Berkhout, Veelers, Clement, Dekker, Posthuma and Louwers were the winners of the previous years. That year was not going to be different, the team time trial was won by the Mini Rabos, the next two stages were won as expected by Theo Bos in a sprint, and the third stage by … Christopher Stevenson solo, 40 seconds ahead of the best Rabobank CT rider. And that was a problem, as after a flat stage, again won by Bos, there was only one hilly stage in the Limburg region left. Rabobank had two designated riders, van Garderen and van Winden, to attack the Swede’s lead. And Bol, the team’s best placed rider, could act as a Joker. And that’s what he did. He attacked and virtually destroyed the Swede’s team. Stevenson himself had to chase Bol’s breakaway group. In Vaals he was within sight of Bol’s group, some riders went across, but Stevenson cracked, never to see the leading group again. Tejay van Garderen, who went across to the breakaway group, won the stage, and little-known Jetse Bol won the tour and all of a sudden had made a name for himself. And he soon proved that he was no one-hit wonder: he placed 4th at the Boucles de la Mayenne (2.2) and 12th in the European time-trial championships.
The real breakthrough came this year. In the style of Dekker, Reus or Boom Bol cruised through the spring season. He won the short time trial at the Tour de Normandy by quite a margin. On the most difficult stage he placed third. Because in this chaotic race some breakaways made it to the finish, Bol placed 5th overall. One week later there was the Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux (2.2). 3rd in the first stage behind Robert in a mass sprint, a win in the first half stage, a time-trail, and a second place as winner of the field sprint in the second half stage of the second day, and a third place in the mass sprint of the third stage resulted in an overall victory, ahead of Phinney, Kelderman, Degenkolb, Balck, Debusschere and Vermote; a true Mock-List paradise.
Again a week later there was the Ronde von Drenthe (1.1). In a field full of pros Bol seemed to be one of the strongest, but an attack that was placed too early ruined his chance. Two weeks later the then still 20-year-old took part in the Tour de Bretagne (2.2). He celebrated his 4th season win in the very first stage: in a 9-man-sprint he beat the Russian Arguelyes. 6th place in the time trial – a little disappointing - and a third place behind Degenkolb and Molmy in the mass sprint of the 4th stage helped protect Bol’s leader’s jersey unto the sixth stage. There a big breakaway group succeeded and Rabobank had missed the train. The jersey and the tour win were gone. As was the shape of Jetse Bol. From this moment on he had to race with weaker legs. At the Olympia’s tour he couldn’t defend his title with a 17th place, and Phinney succeeded in breaking the Rabo series of wins. 14th at Paris – Roubaix (1.2U), in his first Under 23 year he already was better. Only the 6th place at the prologue of the Tour of Portugal (2.1) gave a little hope for a good autumn.
To gain a pro-contract Jetse Bol still has a year left, which he will probably use. With his spring-legs he is more than worthy of being a pro now already.
It was not until September that de Dutchman received a contract as a stagiaire with Rabobank, since then he rides with the same jersey, but different team-mates and bigger races. Dring Paris – Brussel (1.H) he was able to put himself on display, when in the final kilometres he was able to follow a strong attack on the Bruineput. At the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen (1.1) he was even able to place himself sixth among the real profs in a bunch sprint.
Only the relatively weak second part of this season before the deadline of the Mock List is the cause why he is ranked only 12th. Despite of his time-trial wins he doesn’t belong to the big favourites for the World championships. He seems to be stronger in short distances. On good form, he is to be watched in the road race. In a sprint still Vermeltfoort would be the strongest Dutch rider, but in a group sprint Bol could be quite dangerous.
Nominated by ogkempf, wagenge, virtualprofit, ocana & Offi, written by ogkempf, translated by bugno