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