Wout Van Aert wins Belgian cyclo-cross title

World champion beats Laurens Sweeck and Soete

Wout Van Aert (Crelan – Charles) lived up to his billing as pre-race favourite as he powered to a third national title in the elite men’s race at the Belgian Cyclo-cross Championships in Koksijde.

Laurens Sweeck (Era-Circus) was the world champion’s closest challenger on the seafront course, but he had to settle for second place, some 40 seconds behind Van Aert, while Daan Soete claimed the bronze medal.

Sweeck began the race in determined fashion, hitting the front in the opening lap, but Van Aert was live to the danger and leapt directly onto his rear wheel. The two favourites looked set for an absorbing duel over the first two laps, with Sweeck even briefly jumping clear of Van Aert, but the race began to turn in the world champion’s favour thereafter.

Van Aert caught back up to Sweeck on the second lap and was make much of the early running, though Sweeck impressed on the sandy sections of the course.

Midway through the race, however, Van Aert felt it was time to turn the screw, and he opened a dangerous gap on Sweeck. Although Sweeck managed to bridge back up to the world champion, it was an ominous sign.

On the sixth lap, Van Aert’s relentless pace-setting proved too much Sweeck, who was forced into a couple of small errors. That was all Van Aert needed, as he piled on the pressure and padded out his advantage all the way to the finish.

Sweeck finished strongly to claim the silver medal, while behind it was a duel between Telenet-Fidea Lions teammates for the bronze medal, with Daan Soete winning out ahead of Toon Aerts.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan - Charles1:02:03 
2Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era-Circus0:00:42 
3Daan Soete (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:58 
4Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:04 
5Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:01:30 
6Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:01:46 
7Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles0:01:54 
8Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:02:02 
9Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Era-Circus0:02:09 
10Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:17 
11Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst0:03:53 
12Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:04:02 
13Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:04:09 
14Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:04:10 
15Diether Sweeck (Bel)0:04:15 
16Vincent Baestaens (Bel)0:04:47 
17Braam Merlier (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst0:04:58 
18Joeri Adams (Bel)0:05:24 
19Onno Verheyen (Bel)0:07:00 
20Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex0:07:20 
21Jonas Degroote (Bel)0:07:31 
22Yorben Van Tichelt (Bel) Era-Circus -1 Lap 
23Edwin De Wit (Bel)  
24Hendrik Sweeck (Bel)  
25Stijn Huys (Bel)  
26Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst  
27Kenny Roelandt (Bel)  
28Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex  
29Dario Tielen (Bel)  
30Jens Gys (Bel)  
31Yelle Leaerts (Bel)  
32Mathieu Willemyns (Bel)  
33Niels Koyen (Bel)  
34Wouter Goosen (Bel)  
35Julien Kaise (Bel)  
36Pascal Colaert (Bel)  
37Tim De Schuyter (Bel)  
38Brecht Vandenheede (Bel)  
39Pieter Meelberghs (Bel)  
40Jelle De Bock (Bel)  
41Vincent Oger (Bel)  
DNFEli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal  
DNFRob Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice  
DNFTom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus  
DNFDieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal  
DNFJochem Danckaers (Bel)  

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