Team Lotto NL – Jumbo joins ‘Freedom Ride’ on Dutch part of Liberation Route Europe. Professional sportsmen and the public will cycle together through the Dutch province of Gelderland on 5 May to celebrate Freedom Day.
Both the ice-skating and cycling teams of LottoNL-Jumbo will join in the Freedom Day or Liberation Day festivities. The teams will ride on the Liberty Route Europe in Gelderland. They are expecting thousands of cycling fans for company during the Freedom Ride. It is part of The 6 of Lotto, a set of long cycle tours through the Netherlands. The team is asking other teams to participate, as well.
“Our ice skating and cycling team is inviting everyone in the Netherlands, including all fans to ride for freedom with us during the Team LottoNL – Jumbo Freedom Ride,” Team LottoNL – Jumbo General Manager Richard Plugge explained. “Liberation Day has already been a festive day for decades where young and old celebrate freedom. The bike is a typical Dutch vehicle that connects people, so there is no better way for us to celebrate freedom than to ride with many others. “Freedom passes on from generation to generation, the same for the love for cycling. That’s why we invite every generation: granddad to grandson, father and daughter, mother and son. We want everyone to ride with us.”
Professionals in the bunch
The Freedom Ride will feature two distances: 80 or 120 kilometres. Participants can sign up individually or along with the professionals. Groups start in waves from the Doorwerth Castle. A select few will have the opportunity to be part of the first peloton of 500 riders that includes members of BNMO, a veterans advocacy group. The group with team LottoNL – Jumbo’s front men and several famous Dutchmen will ride 120 kilometres escorted by police. They will carry the torch for the Freedom Fire, which will arrive the night before from Wageningen.
The tour passes several historic places on the Liberation Route Europe, the path of the Western Allies in 1944 and 1945. Places such as the John Frost Bridge (‘Bridge too Far’) in Arnhem, The Crossing in Nijmegen, and the Grebbeberg in Rhenen, Utrecht, will feature in the tour.
The ride will stop at the National Liberation Museum 1944-1945 in Groesbeek for an official ceremony and to allow cyclists to re-fuel in the feed zone. It continues through Wageningen, where the annual Liberty Day parade takes place. In the 5 Mei-Plein, the torch will be passed to official parade representatives.
“It’s a compliment to us that the route is being used to celebrate freedom in this tour,” said director Victoria van Krieken of the Liberation Route Europe Foundation. “We’re looking forward to May 5 and to celebrate freedom with all the participants.”
The vfonds (National fund for peace, freedom and care for veterans) supports the Freedom Ride. “To ride with freedom is an honour to all who gave everything for our freedom,” director Ton Heerts said. Thanks to the support of the WEP foundation (Appreciation Recognition Police), the group has a police escort. Also, the NTFU (Dutch Tour Cycling Union), the Royal land forces, De Lotto, Jumbo Supermarkten and BrandLoyalty are collaborating.
It’s possible to register and find out more information at http://www.teamlottojumbo.nl/freedomride.
Every participant receives a goodie bag with a commemorative cycling jersey. Director Ton Heerts of the Vfonds will fire the starting gun at the Doorwerth Castle at 10:30 AM, 5 May.