Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) won this year’s Azencross in Loenhout, Belgium today, ahead of Dutch rival Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus).
Van Aert and Van der Poel proceeded to ride clear of the field during the second lap of today’s race. And, from there, the two young riders continued to extend their lead over the chase.
However, two laps later, Van der Poel managed to get stuck in a corner, which allowed Van Aert to open up a slight gap.
From there, Van Aert continued to increase the gap, while Van der Poel struggled to regain his ground.
Unable to close the gap, a mud-clad Van Aert rode to his fourth victory in the fifth race of the series, while Van der Poel finished in second.
“The victory and an improved classification, it was a fantastic day,” Van Aert told the Belgian media, Sporza.
Meanwhile, Meeusen’s technical skills earned him third spot on the podium, ahead of fourth place finisher Gianni Vermeersch.
Following today’s results, Van Aert extended his lead in the Bpost Bank Trofee series over Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) to 4:45 minutes.
“It’s a big gap and that should not go wrong. Baal will still be a tough race, a sufferfest. Hopefully I can round things up in my hometown Lille,” Van Aert said. “The cold only affected my feet. The rest of the body was warm enough on a course like this.”
Top 10 Finishers
1 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace Cycling Team 2 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) BKCP – Powerplus 3 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet – Fidea 4 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb – Napoleon Games Cycling Team 5 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace Cycling Team 6 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb – Napoleon Games Cycling Team 7 Tim Melier (Bel) Sunweb – Napoleon Games Cycling Team 8 Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink 9 Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace Cycling Team 10 Vincent Baestaens (Bel)
In the women’s race, Katerina Nash (Luna) bested her top rival Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv), beating the world champion by 23 seconds.
“I had a really good ride,” Nash said. “It was a big day in the mud, you never knew what was going to happen in each corner. I’m really happy about how things worked out.”
Vos congratulated Nash on her victory, and made no excuses for her second place finish.
“I tried my best, but it was really hard circumstances,” Vos said. “I’m not the most powerful rider, and I had to let go Katerina in the second lap. Already in the first lap I couldn’t quite match her. In the third lap I saw I was closing in, so I tried by best, I gave it all, but she had an extra gear and powered away again.”
Meanwhile, French champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo-Liv), abandoned today’s race, citing bad conditions as her reason.
“I like cyclocross but not in this conditions! Too muddy for me. Not bad legs but no motivation! It’s why I DNF today,” she post on Twitter.
Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Fidea) rounded out the podium in third place – at 50 seconds back.
“I’m really, really happy. Marianne and Katerina are totally the world’s best, so to be behind them, it’s not a shame for me,” Van Loy said.
Top 20 Finishers
1 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team 0:43:17 2 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank Women Team 0:00:23 3 Ellen Van Loy (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:00:50 4 Nikki Harris (GBr) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:01:13 5 Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm – BKCP 0:01:50 6 Helen Wyman (GBr) Konfa FFSA Factory Team 0:02:12 7 Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Wielerteam Decock-Woningbouw Vandekerckhove 0:02:18 8 Loes Sels (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:02:32 9 Sophie De Boer (Ned) Kalas-NNOF Cycling Team 10 Elle Anderson (USA) Kalas-NNOF Cycling Team 0:02:49 11 Pavla Havlikova (Cze) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:02:59 12 Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) 0:03:32 13 Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra) 0:04:16 14 Crystal Anthony (USA) 0:04:26 15 Githa Michiels (Bel) 0:04:30 16 Katrien Thijs (Bel) Kleur Op Maat cyclingteam 0:04:46 17 Laure Bouteloup (Fra) 0:05:23 18 Lucinda Brand (Ned) 0:05:51 19 Gabriella Durrin (GBr) 0:05:58 20 Asa Maria Erlandsson (Nor) 0:06:10
You must be logged in to post a comment.