Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) soloed to victory in the final round of the Superprestige Trophy in Middelkerke. Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles) finished second, 18 seconds down, after a race-long battle with Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) who ceded the sprint and took third at 18 seconds.
With his main rival Wout Van Aert ending his season last weekend, van der Poel needed only to finish in the points to secure his third Superprestige title. His sixth win in eight rounds of the series ensured he did just that.
Hanging back at the start, van der Poel rode around eight places back for much of the first lap as Vanthourenhout and Merlier took up the reigns at the front.
By lap two a clear lead group had emerged, consisting of Vanthourenhout, Merlier, van der Poel and his brother David (Corendon-Circus). Vanthourenhout tried a move, but on the next lap van der Poel was away, simply riding off the front as he has so many times before.
Aside from a minor spill on lap four, that was the race for van der Poel. Out on his own he didn't have to push to widen a gap, instead holding it at around 25 seconds for much of the race.
Meanwhile back in the chase group, Vanthourenhout and Merlier had left David van der Poel behind. With van der Poel 20 seconds up the road and the next group 20 seconds further back it was clear that the duo would compete for the remaining podium spots.
There were mistakes from each man in the closing laps - Merlier lost control on the final corner of lap six, while Vanthourenhout slipped in the thick mud towards the end of lap seven - but the pair couldn't be separated.
Not until the home straight, at least. Merlier opened it up while Vanthourenhout gave a token effort, happy to take a podium place. After win number 29 of the season, van der Poel was already waiting for his trophy.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus||1:00:17|
|2||Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles||0:00:15|
|3||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:00:19|
|4||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus||0:00:34|
|5||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:39|
|6||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era-Circus||0:00:48|
|7||Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:00|
|8||David van der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus||0:01:13|
|9||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:01:23|
|10||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:40|
|11||Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:01:59|
|12||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Era-Circus||0:02:13|
|13||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:02:36|
|14||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:40|
|15||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst||0:02:43|
|16||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:49|
|17||Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Ginestar - Delikia||0:03:05|
|18||Daan Soete (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:03:35|
|19||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Steylaerts - Betfirst||0:03:52|
|20||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:04:01|
|21||Rob Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice|
|22||Joeri Adams (Bel)|
|23||Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan - Charles||0:04:20|
|24||Michael Boroš (Cze) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice|
|25||Gioele Bertolini (Ita)||0:04:57|
|26||Braam Merlier (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst||0:05:13|
|27||Ismael Esteban Aguero (Spa) Ginestar - Delikia||0:05:30|
|28||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)||0:05:50|
|29||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned)||0:05:58|
|30||Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst||0:06:01|
|31||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex||0:06:07|
|32||Jonas Degroote (Bel)|
|33||Hendrik Sweeck (Bel)|
|34||Dario Tielen (Bel)|
|35||Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex|
|36||Tobin Ortenblad (USA)|
|37||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned)|
|38||Gosse Van Der Meer (Ned)|
|39||Niels Koyen (Bel)|
|40||Edwin De Wit (Bel)|
|41||Eric Thompson (USA)|
|42||Jelle De Bock (Bel)|
|43||Tyler Cloutier (USA)|
|44||Vincent Oger (Bel)|
|DNF||Vincent Baestaens (Bel)|