Nineteen-year-old Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) bounced back from a beaten position to grab the victory in the Superprestige opener in Gieten, Netherlands on Sunday evening.
In the final lap, he powered over Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) who joined his compatriot on the podium. Belgian champion Sven Nys (Crelan), twice as old as winner Van der Poel, was third in Gieten.
Van der Poel is the first leader of the Superprestige cyclo-cross series, screaming out his joy and patting himself on the chest as he crossed the line.
The start of the race in Gieten was given shortly after a minute of silence in memory of late press officer Marc Van Landeghem.
After the start, front-row starter Nys was caught by surprise and missed his start completely. Meanwhile Mathieu van der Poel, Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Van der Haar were setting the pace in front. Halfway into the second lap Van der Poel suddenly disappeared from the front.
“My chain got stuck and I had to come back from a distant position. Luckily I was able to move up with Sven Nys,” Van der Poel told Vier.
A crash from Meeusen on the third lap moved Van der Haar and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) into the lead. One lap later, Pauwels had to let go of Van der Haar.
Halfway through the race Van der Poel bridged up to Pauwels, with Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) marking his wheel. Nys was a little further back. “I knew Sven would continue at his own pace but I went flat out for the victory,” Van der Poel told Sporza. Vantornout quickly got dropped and Van der Poel stormed towards Van der Haar.
In the closing laps, Nys bridged up to the main chase group, which included Vantornout and Pauwels but also Mathieu’s older brother David van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus).
In the final lap, Van der Haar was caught back. Halfway through the lap, Van der Poel surged forward just ahead of the sand section. “I tried to make it as hard as possible for him to get back on me but once he got there I didn’t have anything left to counter his attack,” Van der Haar told Vier.
Van der Poel bluntly outpowered Van der Haar in the sand and headed towards his first major victory amongst the pro riders.
Mathieu’s brother David managed to beat Vantornout to grab an unexpected fourth place in Gieten.
After his crash, Meeusen faded and finished 10th. German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) missed his start too but never got back in contention and finished a distant 14th, grabbing only two Superprestige points. Last year, the now retired Niels Albert won the race in Gieten.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus||0:56:10|
|2||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant||0:00:02|
|3||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA-drink||0:00:37|
|4||David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus||0:00:44|
|5||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games||0:00:45|
|6||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games||0:00:58|
|7||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea||0:01:16|
|8||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games||0:01:20|
|9||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games||0:01:24|
|10||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||0:01:31|
|11||Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace||0:01:37|
|12||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||0:01:43|
|13||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA-drink Cycling Team||0:01:45|
|14||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||0:01:50|
|15||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet-Fidea||0:02:02|
|16||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace||0:02:11|
|17||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace|
|18||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-AA-drink|
|19||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet-Fidea||0:02:25|
|20||Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace||0:02:39|
|21||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games||0:03:40|
|22||Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA-drink Cycling Team||0:03:52|
|23||Julien Taramarcaz (Sui) Corendon-Kwadro||0:04:25|
|24||Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games||0:04:34|
|25||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels||0:04:41|
|26||Kevin Cant (Bel) Corendon-Kwadro||0:04:46|
|27||Tijmen Eising (Ned) Metec||0:04:57|
|28||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon-Kwadro||0:05:08|
|29||Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels||-2Lap|
|30||Niels Koyen (Bel) Metalac Cycling team||-2Lap|
|31||Hendrik Sweeck (Bel) Corendon-Kwadro||-2Lap|
|32||Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) Johnsons Contr. Mlada Boleslav||-2Lap|
|33||Bart Barkhuis (Ned) AWC Assen-Meteoor-Roden||-3Lap|
|34||Filip Eberl (Cze) Remex-Meridateam Kolin||-3Lap|
|35||Michal Malík (Cze) KC Kooperativa SG Jablonec||-5Lap|