Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) emerged victorious in today’s 2015 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, after soloing to victory ahead of Wout Van Aert and Lars van der Haar, in a hard-fought closing finale.
Van der Poel capitalized on Van Aert’s mechanical problem at the end of the first lap, to slowly build up a slight advantage that would hold until the finish.
"It was mentally a hard race," Van der Poel said. "I didn’t have a big gap, it was always about 10 seconds. But I had a lot of confidence from last week."
In the meantime, the van der Haar kept his composure to hold-off the chase behind him being led by Kevin Pauwels (Belgium), to claim third post on the podium.
A slight mishap through the barriers during the first lap, left Van der Poel relying heavily upon his riding skills – in order to maintain his grip on his lead.
"In the warm up the barriers were difficult, but i knew in the race it could make a difference," he said. "The first two laps weren’t that great, but then I took time there every lap."
From there, Van der Poel settled into the lead, with Van Aert, Meeusen and Pauwels in pursuit, while Van der Haar continued to chase from behind.
Van der Poel’s mishap in the barriers allowed Van Aert to join him, while Meeusen and Pauwels continued their pursuit.
Shortly thereafter, Van Aert dropped his chain heading onto the paved section of the course, which allowed Meeusen and Pauwels to slip past him.
From there, it became a three-man Belgian pursuit – trying to hunt down Van der Poel.
Another miscue by Van der Poel, gave the chase a chance to close in on him. But, a determined Dutch rider managed to stay out front and keep the pace high.
Van Aert then encountered another problem, that cause him to lose even further contact with the group.
With six laps remaining, Van der Poel was still maintaining his hold on the lead, while Pauwels led Van der Haar and Meeusen at five seconds back. Van Aert was now 17 seconds behind the chase – with Vantornaut as his companion.
As the race headed into the third lap, Van der Poel was still out front, with Pauwels continued to lead Van de Haar and Meeusen.
However, as the chase group began to string-out, Meeusen started losing ground.
In the meantime, Vantornout was still chasing from behind, while Van Aert found himself at risk of being caught by a large chase group behind him.
With five lap remaining, Van der Poel was leading Pauwels and Van der Haar by 11 seconds, with Meeusen 19 seconds back, followed by Vantornout at 25 seconds, and Van Aert at 50.
Much further back, was Gianni Vermeersch, who was leading Sven Nys and cachet of other riders – at more than a minute down.
A determined Pauwels, followed closely by Van der Haar, was now cutting into Van der Poel’s lead. And, as they reach the next series of barriers, the leader was now in their sights.
Behind them, Vantornout had joined Meeusen.
However, with Pauwels receiving no help from Van der Haar, Van der Poel’s lead went back out 12 seconds.
With four laps to go, Van der Poel had managed to eke out a few more seconds to extend his lead to 18 over his two rivals, while Meeusen and Vantornout were still 36 seconds back, with Van Aert a further 11 seconds behind them.
Pauwels decided to skip the pits this time around, while Van der Haar headed in for a fresh bike – without losing any ground.
In the meantime, Van Aert succeeded in making his way up to Meeusen and Vantornout.
At that point, Van der Haar decided to attack Pauwels on short rise, but the Belgian rider was undeterred. Still, Van der Haar accelerated again, this time putting Pauwels in difficulty, and subsequently opening up a slight gap.
With three laps remaining, Van der Poel was still leading by 12 seconds, followed by his teammate, who was maintaining a slight gap over Pauwels. Van Aert continued to follow at 34 seconds back.
At one point, Van der Haar was just seven seconds behind Van der Poel, with Pauwels right behind him, followed by a fast approaching Van Aert.
With just two laps remaining, the finale was now shaping up with two Dutchmen and two Belgians at the front, with Vantornout and Meeusen out of contention – at more than a minute behind.
Pauwels suddenly dropped out of the chase, while Van der Haar continued in second – at 13 seconds behind.
Heading into the final lap, Van der Poel was leading Van der Haar by 11 seconds, while Van Aert had managed to over take Pauwels for third.
A final miscue going through a short, U-turn climb, looked to have foiled Van Aert’s chances. But, the Belgian rider rebounded to catch Van der Haar once again.
Up front, a jubilant Van der Poel crossed the finish in celebration, while an embolden Van Aert managed to power his way clear of Van der Haar in the closing moments to claim second spot on the podium.
Both Van der Poel and Van Aert chose to compete in the elite men’s category today, rather than the Under23.
As a result, the young Dutch rider heads into next year’s season with the prestigious World Champion’s jersey on his back.
"it’s a lot different. I don’t think I have the confidence to know what it’s going to mean in the next season, but it will be awesome to ride in that jersey," Van der Poel said.
Top 20 Finishers
1 Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) 1:09:12
2 Wout Van Aert (Belgium) 0:00:15
3 Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) 0:00:17
4 Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) 0:01:06
5 Klaas Vantornout (Belgium) 0:01:12
6 Tom Meeusen (Belgium) 0:01:17
7 Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium) 0:02:26
8 Marcel Meisen (Germany) 0:02:37
9 Philipp Walsleben (Germany) 0:02:43
10 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Italy) 0:02:54
11 Julien Taramarcaz (Switzerland) 0:02:56
12 Luca Braidot (Italy) 0:03:13
13 Michael Boros (Czech Republic) 0:03:19
14 Fabien Canal (France) 0:03:26
15 Thijs Van Amerongen (Netherlands) 0:03:27
16 Simon Zahner (Switzerland) 0:03:30
17 Sven Nys (Belgium)
18 Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) 0:03:38
19 Rob Peeters (Belgium) 0:03:56
20 Francis Mourey (France) 0:03:59
You must be logged in to post a comment.
France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prevot won a hard fought battle to claim this year’s UCI Cyclocross World Championships title in the Czech Republic today.
Ferrand-Prevot and Sanne Cant (Belgium) battled it out during the final laps, but it was Ferrend-Prevot who emerged as the stronger of the two riders, after delivering a final acceleration before the finish.
Meanwhile, Marianne Vos (Netherlands) rounded out the podium in third place.
Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France) took to the front at the outset of today’s race, while Vos led the pursuit.
After completing the first lap, Chainel-Lefevre was still out front, with Vos, Cant and Ferrand-Prevot chasing, while Americans Katie Antonneau and Katie Compton had already fallen half-minute behind.
From there, Ferrand-Prevot made her way to Chainel-Lefevre, while Cant slipped past Vos and into third place.
With laps remaining, Cant, Vos and Harris succeeded in make their way to the two French leaders – with Katerina Nash eventually latching on as well.
At one point, Ferrand-Prevot and Cant managed to breakaway from the group.
With two laps remaining, Ferrand-Prevot succeeded in jettisoning her breakaway companion, while Nash continued to lead the pursuit.
From there, Cant proceeded to surged ahead of the chase, and began closing in on Ferrand-Prevot. And, after a quick pitstop, Ferrand-Prevot and Cant were joined, while Vos and Wyman remained 5 seconds behind.
Shortly thereafter, Cant was able to create a small gap over Ferrand-Prevot, but the French champion fought back, only to experience a slight mishap that allowed her Belgian rival to ride clear again.
As the race headed into the final lap, Cant was still two seconds ahead of Ferrand-Prevot, with Vos leading the pursuit – seven seconds back.
However, Ferrand-Prevot, then made her move, quickly catching Cant, and once more taking over the lead.
Still, Cant managed to retake the lead from Ferrand-Prevot again, while the chase was now right on their heels.
As the race, hit the final stretch of pavement, Ferrand – Prevot once again took over the lead from Cant.
From there, the two leaders battled it out shoulder-to-shoulder, with Ferrand-Prevot ultimately edging out Cant on the line.
In the meantime, Vos managed to ride her way clear of the chase to claim third place on the podium – at 15 seconds back.
Harris finished fourth, while home-field favorite Nash took fifth.
Antonneau was the top American in 13th at 2:30 back.
Top 10 Finishers
1 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) 0:49:11
2 Sanne Cant (Belgium)
3 Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 0:00:15
4 Nikki Harris (Great Britain) 0:00:20
5 Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) 0:00:36
6 Lucy Chainel-Lefevere (France) 0:00:55
7 Helen Wyman (Great Britain) 0:01:21
8 Ellen Van Loy (Belgium) 0:01:35
9 Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) 0:01:54
10 Sophie de Boer 0:01:56