Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Charles) took a surprise victory in the fifth round of the Superprestige Trophy in Gavere. Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea Lions) finished second, 53 seconds back, while Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Correndon) rounded out the podium at 1:16 down.
Van der Poel had started out the day looking for his fourth win from five rounds of the series, and the start of the muddy race in Gavere did little to disabuse any watchers of the notion that he would achieve just that.
The newly-crowned European champion and Van Aert, himself fresh from a Tuscan training camp, separated themselves from the field early on the first lap as others struggled in the wet mud.
Any sparring between the rivals didn’t last long though, as at the end of the lap van der Poel decided it was time to strike out. Van Aert’s bike change only lengthened the gap, and the Belgian hitting the deck on lap two seemed to confirm a sure van der Poel victory.
Indeed, Van Aert had more to concern himself about from the riders behind than the man up front. Aerts, in good form after winning Jaarmarktcross on Saturday, was eating up the gap to his countryman, passing him on the third lap and pulling out a 15 second gap by lap four of the race.
At one point Aerts was actually putting time into van der Poel, almost unthinkable given his domination of the season so far. However, the penultimate lap saw him blow and lose his second place, falling from within 20 seconds of the lead to over a minute back.
Meanwhile, van der Poel seemed to be enjoying a leisurely ride to victory, with a lap five puncture and bike change proving only a minor inconvenience. Disaster struck midway through the last of the race’s six laps though, as he pulled up with apparent rear mech problems.
Time ticked by as the Dutchman tended to his bike, with a surprised Van Aert riding past having previously been trailing by over 30 seconds. Aerts and Klaas Vantornout (Marlux-Napoleon Games) were next up, passing van der Poel before he finally got going again.
Van Aert, his rainbow jersey turned brown by the mud, went on to take his second win of the season, while over a minute back van der Poel managed to salvage something from the day. On a day where he had previously been coasting to certain victory, he managed to catch and pass Vantornout in the closing stages to take third.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan - Charles||0:58:30|
|2||Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:55|
|3||Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon||0:01:17|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:01:22|
|5||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Beobank-Corendon||0:01:33|
|6||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:36|
|7||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:00|
|8||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:02:49|
|9||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:03:09|
|10||Vincent Baestaens (Bel)||0:03:27|
|11||Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:03:29|
|12||Diether Sweeck (Bel) Era-Circus||0:03:44|
|13||Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:03:51|
|14||Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles||0:04:13|
|15||Joeri Adams (Bel)||0:04:24|
|16||Michael Boroš (Cze) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:04:35|
|17||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)||0:04:44|
|18||David Van Der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon||0:05:06|
|19||Rob Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:05:26|
|20||Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan - Charles||0:06:15|
|21||Gioele Bertolini (Ita)||0:06:36|
|22||Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst||0:07:13|
|LAP||Gosse Van Der Meer (Ned) Tarteletto - Isorex|
|LAP||Julien Kaise (Bel)|
|LAP||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex|
|LAP||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)|
|DNF||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era-Circus|
|DNF||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst|
|DNF||Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games|
|DNF||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games|
|DNF||Dario Tielen (Bel)|
|DNF||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Steylaerts - Betfirst|
|DNF||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Beobank-Corendon|