photo credit @ Sporza/Twitter
Wout Van Aert added another convincing win to his ever-growing list of victories this season, after coming out on top in the Bpost Bank Trofee race in Essen today, following another great duel with arch rival Sven Nys.
Indeed, the duo remained together throughout most of today’s race, with the young Van Aert ultimately holding off the veteran during the final muddy section to continue his clean sweep of the Bpost Bank Trofee series.
Meanwhile, Michael Vanthourenhout completed the podium in third spot, while world champion Mathieu van der Poel’s hopes ended in disaster, after he suffered a mechanical problem while riding out front earlier in the race.
After Van Aert and Nys escaped during the early part of the race, van der Poel, alongside Gianni Vermeersch, eventually managed to join the lead duo.
From there, van der Poel dropped his companions, and quickly opened up a slight lead of 5 seconds for himself.
Back in the chase, Van Aert and Nys both took turns at the front, as they tried in earnest to pull back van der Poel.
However, disaster soon struck the world champion, as an untimely mechanical problem left him with a disabled bike quite a distance from the pit area – consequently putting him out of contention.
This in turned shaped today’s race into another battle between the “master and the apprentice”, while Nys tried vigorously to shed his young rival.
However, Van Aert managed to stay glued to Nys’ wheel – entering into the final lap.
Heading into the finishing straight, Nys initiated a final move, but Van Aert was there to counter, subsequently gaining a slight gap over the veteran.
This left Nys shaking his head in disappointment, as Van Aert proceeded to ride clear during the final section of tarmac to seize the victory.
With today’s win, Van Aert extended his overall lead in the Bpost Bank Trofee series, with a lead of 3:19 over Pauwels, followed by Nys in third at 6:46.
Top 10 Finishers
1. Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace)
2. Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink)
3. Michael Vanthourenhout (Sunweb – Napoleon Games)
4. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb – Napoleon Games)
5. Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb – Napoleon Games)
6. Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea)
7. Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Muroprotec) 8. Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon)
9. Tim Merlier (Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace)
10. Cornee van Kessel (Telenet Fidea)
1. Wout Van Aert 3.56.34
2. Kevin Pauwels +3.19
3. Sven Nys +6.46
4. Tom Meeusen +7.39 m
5. Corne van Kessel +7.53
6. Lars van der Haar +8.10
7. Gianni Vermeersch +8.59
8. Julien Taramarcaz +8.50
9. Laurens Sweeck +9.02
10. Tim Merlier +9.08
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