Our rider finished for the third time on the podium, six years from his first top-3 finish.
Niki Terpstra, who next week will make his first Tour de France outing since 2014, time trialed to a solid second at the National ITT Championships, where he notched up his fifth top-3 finish of the season, one of the finest of his career, for Quick-Step Floors' third medal at the Nationals in the space of just a few days.
Victorious this spring in Le Samyn, E3 Harelbeke and Ronde van Vlanderen, Niki was among the last riders to leave the start house for the demanding 52.3km-long race against the clock held over a flat course in Bergen op Zoom, a small city located in the south of Netherlands.
The 34-year-old came through all three checkpoints with the fastest time and stopped the clock in 1:03:04, becoming the first rider to go under 1:04:00, after averaging an impressing 50.422km/h. Only one rider – Dylan Van Baarle (Team Sky) – could improve the result of Niki, who put more than half a minute into Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) to take second place.
"I can't be disappointed because I did one of the fastest time trials of my career. The long distance is not my thing, but the legs felt good and I could push through on every kilometer and also in the final I went really fast. The form is absolutely there and I would have loved to win but Dylan did a super fast time, especially in the second part of the course, so hats off and congrats to him."
"Now I look forward to the road race on Sunday, which will be very tough, on an undulating 11-kilometre route with a lot of tricky corners, especially in the last four kilometers. Add to that the 30 degrees forecasted and you will have a really exhausting race", concluded Niki, who will be joined at the start by teammate Fabio Jakobsen, one of the best neo-pros of the season.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images