Patrick Roest has already become world champion all-round three times, but he has never won the Dutch title in the classic quadrathlon.

The 24-year-old skater hopes to fill that gap in his trophy cabinet this weekend.

Marcel Bosker cannot match the honors list of Roest, but the acquisition of Jumbo-Visma can call himself better than his teammate on one point: he already became Dutch all-round champion once.

Three-time world champion Roest never got further than second place at the NK.

A week and a half ago, during a bicycle training session, Bosker could not resist pointing out this special statistic to Roest.

"Patrick looked at me with a look like 'what asshole you are' when I told him that this season he can win the two all-round titles he doesn't have yet," Bosker remembers with a smile.

"After I explained to him that he hasn't become a Dutch or European champion yet, he said: 'I hadn't thought about it that way, that's a good one."

The explanation for the lack of success of Roest at the NK all-round is simple: he skipped the tournament for the past three years.

"I think all-rounding is the best there is, but the NK has always been very badly planned in recent years", he explains.

"I thought that was a terrible shame, but you have to make choices in a normal season to be able to be good at the biggest competitions. It's nice that I can participate this weekend. Ha, now I have to show it at the NK. "

Patrick Roest became world champion all-round for the third year in a row at the beginning of March.

(Photo: Pro Shots)

'Rust is the big favorite for gold'

In recent years, Roest was by no means the only top skater to ignore the devalued NK all-round.

The tournament was scheduled for the end of January and during that period the top players preferred to train in the run-up to the important World Cups.

Moreover, the two best all-rounders (men and women) had usually already qualified for the World Cup before the NK, so that they could unsubscribe with confidence.

However, due to the corona crisis, the skating calendar has been completely changed this winter.

After the loss of the World Cups in November and December, the KNSB decided to move the NK all-round and the NK sprint to November, so that there are still matches in the first part of the season.

As a result, the NK all-round finally seemed to be a real battle again between the best skaters in the Netherlands, but on Friday Sven Kramer (six-time champion), Ireen Wüst (four-time champion) and Irene Schouten (bronze in 2014) signed off because they were not fit to be.

Despite this, Roest with Bosker, defending champion Jan Blokhuijsen and possibly the just recovered Koen Verweij (the 2014 champion) still has a number of competitors in the battle for his first NK title.

"But Patrick is of course the big favorite for gold", Bosker emphasizes.

Provisional skating calendar

  • November 21-22: NK allround (Thialf)

  • November 28-29: NK sprint (Thialf)

  • December 26-28: World Cup qualifying tournament (Thialf)

  • January 16-17: European Championship allround / sprint (Thialf)

  • January 22-24 *: World Cup 1 (Thialf)

  • January 29-31 *: World Cup 2 (Thialf)

  • World Cup distances?

* The dates for the possible World Cups in Thialf have not yet been officially set.

Orie: 'Skaters are going to take more risks'

If Roest lives up to his favorite status, he is also immediately placed for the European Championship all-round (16 and 17 January in Thialf).

Nevertheless, this weekend in Heerenveen it will finally be mainly about the titles, and not about qualifying for other tournaments.

"When I became champion three years ago, I mainly wanted to win to be able to participate in the World Allround Championships. That was the biggest prize at the time," says Bosker.

"It will not often happen that it is like this season that everyone will race for the Dutch title."

Jac Orie expects that the skaters will therefore be prepared to take more risks.

"When you drive for a World Cup ticket, you soon think: I'm going to be safe on the last distance," said Bosker en Roest's coach.

"I think there will be a bit more gambling this weekend to be able to finish first."

The NK all-round starts on Saturday at 1.30 pm with the 500 meters for women, followed by the 500 meters for men, the 3 kilometers for women and the 5 kilometers for men.

Roest rides against teammate Chris Huizinga on the 500 meters and against Blokhuijsen on the 5,000 meters in the final stage.

See also: NK allround program in Thialf