The logical assumption for the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations is that Team Holland would feature the same three riders that raced for the team last year—Jeffrey Herlings, Glenn Coldenhoff, and Calvin Vlaanderen. That trio coulda woulda shoulda won last year's event at RedBud MX, as Coldenhoff and Herlings combined to win the three motos overall. Vlaanderen, though, was hit in the eye by a rock and couldn't finish moto one or race in moto two. The team still finished second overall to France despite counting Vlaanderen's 34th place finish in the first moto.
This year, Herlings has struggled with injuries but is expected back at the races soon, so the 2018 MXGP FIM World Champion should be ready for the MXoN event on home (sandy) soil in Assen. Over the weekend at Imola in Italy, Coldenhoff snagged his first MXGP overall win since 2015. Vlaanderen's early season in MX2 was blunted by injury, but the Honda man has climbed back into a weekly podium contender. Yet, we heard rumors this weekend that Vlaanderen might not be named to the team after all, and now MX Vice has reported the same. The Dutch team has been announced with Herlings and Coldenhoff, but both Vlaanderen and young Roan Van De Moosdijk were named as MX2 riders. MX Vice reports that, "A handful of training days in deep sand will be run to determine whether Vlaanderen or Van De Moosdijk should fill the MX2 berth."
You can read more from MX Vice here.
Our GP scribe, Adam Wheeler, has explained that young Van De Moosdijk is having a strong season in EMX250 (a support class for young talent on 250s) and also impressed in the sand of Lommel, where he won both EMX250 motos. Van De Moosdijk currently leads the EMX250 class standings.
Vlaaderen was actually born and raised in South Africa but has Dutch heritage, races under a Dutch license, and holds a Dutch passport. He was thus eligible to ride for the Dutch team last year.
Who will end up with the MX2 slot for Team Holland? This will be a very interesting subplot to watch, as the home team is considered a heavy favorite for 2019.