photo credits @ Hansgrohe
World Champion Mathieu van der Poel made it back-to-back victories today, after once again holding off Kevin Pauwels and Lars Van Der Haar at the Superprestige cyclocross round in Diegem, Belgium.
The final few laps of today’s evening race, saw van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon), Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace), Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) and Tom Meeusen (Telnet-Fidea) leading the field.
Both Van Aert and van der Poel commenced attacks of their own during the closing laps. However, it was the world champion, along with Pauwels, who ultimately succeeded in getting away – leaving van der Haar to chase in earnest.
Not long after, Van Aert was beset by a mechanical problem, which forced the young Belgian rider into the pits. Meanwhile, van der Haar and Meeusen both managed to make their way back up to the two leaders.
From there, van der Poel launched a couple of attacks during the final lap, which left Meeusen unable to respond – forcing him to settle for second place for the second day in a row.
Meanwhile, Van Der Haar rode in a second behind Meeusen, to claim third sport on the podium.
“Two out of two this weekend. That feels good,” said van der Poel, who added that Pauwels was the stronger man on the day but that he was better tactically, especially on the final lap.
“I sprinted to every corner like I sprinted to the finish line,” he said.
Pauwels attributed his loss, due to the fact that van der Poel was using disc brakes, which may have given the world champion a slight edge during the final U-turn.
“The key moment was probably when we approached the 180-degree bend,” he said. “I really thought that I could take in in the lead, but suddenly Mathieu slipped past. With normal brakes such a maneuver might be impossible.”
Meanwhile, Van Aert had another disappointing day, as the young Belgian who dominated the start of this year’s cyclocross season, could only muster a 10th place finish today.
Still, Van Aert was able to hold onto his lead in the Superprestige series with 80 points, while Pauwels sits second with 77 – followed by Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) in third with 75.
Top 20 Elite Men
1 Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon 0:59:06
2 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games Cycling Team
3 Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant – Alpecin 0:00:03
4 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:00:25
5 Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate-Murprotec 0:00:28
6 Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan AA Drink Team 0:00:33
7 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games Cycling Team 0:00:44
8 Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
9 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Corendon 0:00:45
10 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice Golden Palace 0:00:50
11 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Era Real Estate-Murprotec 0:00:53
12 Tim Merlier (Bel) Vastgoedservice Golden Palace 0:00:55
13 Michael Boros (Cze) BKCP-Corendon 0:01:02
14 Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits 0:01:09
15 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games Cycling Team 0:01:14
16 Diether Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate-Murprotec 0:01:33
17 Radomir Simunek (Cze) Era Real Estate-Murprotec 0:01:54
18 Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:02:04
19 Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice Golden Palace 0:02:09
20 Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:02:22
In the elite women’s race, Ellen Van Loy (Telenet) took the victory ahead of Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BCKP) and Eva Lechner (Colnago-Sudtirol).
The Belgian rider succeeded in riding clear during the opening lap, and remained out front for the duration.
Meanwhile, the rest of the field became a battle for second place, as Cant managed to edge out Lechner by a mere second on the line.
“The poor form I had a few weeks ago is clearly gone. I’m pleased with how I’m riding. It seems like I can do what I want. I feel the same way too. I feel good, strong. It’s fine that I’m able to show off my form,” said Van Loy.
“It seems like I’m doing what I want,” said Van Loy. “Saturday was a first podium in a World Cup and now this.”
Cant continues to lead the series with 74 points. Jolien Verschueren (Telenet) is second with 73 and Helen Wyman (Kona Factory) third with 68.
Top 20 Elite Women
1 Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:42:50
2 Sanne Cant (Bel) Team Ciclismo Mundial Deprof 0:00:16
3 Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol 0:00:17
4 Helen Wyman (GBr) Matrix Fitness Vulpine
5 Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) 0:00:27
6 Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team 0:00:39
7 Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:00:53
8 Nikki Harris (GBr) Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:01:51
9 Loes Sels (Bel) Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 0:01:55
10 Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi 0:02:05
11 Elle Anderson (USA) SRAM Sherwood Pines Rt 0:02:11
12 Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) RSC Schonaich 0:02:23
13 Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Wielerteam Decock-Van Eyck 0:02:34
14 Mical Dyck (Can) Naked Factory Racing 0:02:43
15 Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team 0:03:02
16 Hannah Payton (GBr) UCI
17 Meredith Miller (USA) Noosa Pro Cyclo Cross 0:03:08
18 Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Kleur Op Maat – Nodrugs 0:03:21
19 Emma White (USA) Cyclocrossworld.Com Devo Team 0:03:29
20 Crystal Anthony (USA) 0:03:40
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