photo credits @ UCI
Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP–Corendon) won the final round of the elite men’s 2015/2016 UCI Cyclocross World Cup today, marking the Dutch rider’s fourth consecutive cyclocross victory in the World Cup at Hoogerheide, Belgium.
The world champion enjoyed a solo finish, taking the win almost a minute ahead of Wout Van Aert and Kevin Pauwels.
Prior to today’s victory, Van der Poel also won the World Cup rounds in Namur, Heusden-Zolder and Lignières-en-Berry, and many view today’s win as evidence of his ability to defend his rainbow jersey at next week’s world championships in Zolder, Belgium.
Van der Poel executed a lightening fast start, which quickly opened up a gap over his rivals during today’s extremely muddy course.
From there, the Dutch rider continued to increase his lead over the field, only choosing to to ease back his pace during the final lap of the race in order to savor his victory.
Meanwhile, Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental) finished a distant 48 seconds behind to earn second spot on the podium, with Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games) finishing a further 11 seconds behind Van Aert – to round out the podium in third.
Top 20 Elite Men
1 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) BKCP – Corendon 1:07:31
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team 0:00:48
3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team 0:00:59
4 Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era – Murprotec 0:01:30
5 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:01:49
6 Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:02:00
7 Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant – Alpecin 0:02:16
8 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team 0:02:41
9 Marcel Meisen (Ger) 0:02:55
10 Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team 0:03:02
11 Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team 0:03:08
12 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team 0:03:11
13 Sven Nys (Bel) 0:03:20
14 Diether Sweeck (Bel) Era – Murprotec 0:03:52
15 Rob Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team 0:04:00
16 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team 0:04:04
17 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:04:07
18 Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:04:17
19 Radomir Simunek (Cze) Era – Murprotec 0:04:20
20 Michael Boros (Cze) Bkcp – Corendon 0:04:32
Sophie De Boer scored a convincing victory in the elite women’s race in today’s UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Hoogerheide, Belgium, finishing more than half a minute ahead of Thalita De Jong and British National Champion Nikki Harris.
“It’s indescribable. I’m really happy that I could win today. Last week I felt really strong. It’s a course I really like. It’s heavy: a slow course with a lot of mud. I felt really great. It’s incredible I could win,” De Boer said in the post-race flash interview.
Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP), along with De Boer and Harris featured prominently during today’s opening lap.
However, De Boer continued to ride clear of her rivals for a brief period, while De Jong and Harris pursued in earnest.
The duo eventually caught De Boer, but early in the second lap, the Dutch rider once again succeeded in distancing her rivals – this time for good.
“I couldn’t believe it. I had a really good start. I had a little gap but didn’t want to start too fast. The first lap I wasn’t riding 100 per cent. Then I saw after the first lap I still had a gap. Then I gave it all and was able to extend the gap,” De Boer said.
Back in the pursuit, Harris managed to create a gap on De Jong, quickly opening up a 4 second lead.
Meanwhile, Cant remained five seconds further back, with French champion Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clément) and Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) trailing at almost a minute behind.
Up front, De Boer continued to increase her lead during the final lap, while De Jong managed to bridged her way back up to Harris.
In the meantime, Mani succeeded in rejoining Cant, after the Belgian rider began to fade.
With De Boer well ahead, the race became a battle for second place, with Harris content with staying on De Jong’s wheel for most of the final lap.
However, just before hitting the final uphill finishing straight, De Jong surged, quickly establishing a slight a gap over Harris, that would hold during a powerful sprint to the finish.
In the meantime, Mani managed to ride away from Cant to take fourth place.
As result of today’s race, Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea) lost her third spot in the World Cup standings to Harris, as she only managed an eleventh place finish today, after failing to fight her way back after Maud Kaptheijns blocked her path early on in the opening lap.
For US-champion Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective), a disastrous start involving a pedal malfunction, cost the American rider her chances at a top place finish.
Top 20 Elite Women
1 Sophie De Boer (Ned) 0:40:30
2 Thalita De Jong (Ned) 0:00:35
3 Nikki Harris (GBr) 0:00:38
4 Caroline Mani (Fra) 0:01:01
5 Sanne Cant (Bel) 0:01:06
6 Jolien Verschueren (Bel) 0:01:09
7 Helen Wyman (GBr) 0:01:11
8 Eva Lechner (Ita) 0:01:33
9 Christine Majerus (Lux) 0:01:49
10 Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) 0:02:01
11 Ellen Van Loy (Bel) 0:02:21
12 Katherine Compton (USA) 0:02:29
13 Loes Sels (Bel) 0:02:39
14 Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) 0:02:49
15 Femke Van Den Driessche (Bel) 0:02:58
16 Elle Anderson (USA) 0:03:01
17 Pavla Havlikova (Cze) 0:03:03
18 Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) 0:03:08
19 Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) 0:03:10
20 Juliette Labous (Fra) 0:03:12
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