Three world titles and a national all-round title are already on Patrick Roest‘s honorary list. A European title is still missing, but he can change that this weekend in Thialf. The chances of this seem great, because Rust is standing out this season with head and shoulders.
Both on the five and ten kilometers he already drove a track record in Heerenveen. Especially his top time at the longest distance, the second time ever driven, was impressive. No competitor came close to it. In fact, his international challengers have very few matches in their feet at all.
“Swings a dangerous man.”
Belgian Bart Swings is his biggest competitor for 25-year-old Roest. “For me, that’s a dangerous man. He has trained here all year and knows the rink through and through. He was able to focus one hundred percent on skating, because there were no skating races in the summer. That might have helped him.”
Take a look at the preview with Patrick Roest at the European Championships Allround:
At the all-round world championships at the end of last season, the Norwegian Sverre Lunde Pedersen took the silver behind Roest. But Pedersen fears that he still misses the top shape and expects Roest to win the tournament even if he rides with a mouthcap. “I‘m going to try without it anyway”, Parry Rust.
“I keep looking out for him.”
“ It might say more about Pedersen’s confidence. He‘s only ridden training competitions, so it’s hard to get into your rhythm. But I keep looking out for him.”
“ From Swings I know better what he can do, Sverre has mainly ridden training competitions in Stavanger. You can‘t compare that with here.”
Watch the interview with Pedersen prior to the tournament here:
Big absent in Heerenveen is the teammate of Roest who he has to miss for the first time at an all-round tournament. Sven Kramer, tenfold European champion, did not qualify.
“ It’s pretty strange, because I‘m used to working with him towards such a tournament. We always stand together on the ice and do the game preparation together. That’s different and it‘s a pity, but I can’t change it.”
From next week Kramer will drive the World Cup and also the World Cup distances, but is not yet in the skating bubble for that reason. Direct contact with Rust is therefore not present this week.
“ We can‘t see each other, I can’t skate with him or ride a bike with him, but we talked to each other Friday morning. Normally we do this under a cup of coffee, which is different now.”
Check out the program for this weekend:
All skaters who participate today and tomorrow in the European Championships all-round and the European Championship sprint have undergone a negative corontest. A total of 143 participants are involved. The skaters stay in a secluded bubble. The races in Heerenveen will take place without an audience this weekend.