Van der Poel wins with another lonely solo in Gavere

Aerts, Van Aert trail European Champion in Superprestige

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) won the third round of the Superprestige Trophy in Gavere, leading from the gun after attacking on the opening lap. Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) took second place, 24 seconds back, while Wout van Aert (Cibel-Cebon) was third at 36 seconds.

From the very start of the race Van der Poel was up front. The Dutchman attacked hard and early, with Aerts the only man able to keep up. The early show of strength from the duo would foreshadow the final result, while Van Aert took some time to separate himself from the chase group.

The remainder of the race was marked by two battles – one between Van der Poel and Aerts, and later on between Van Aert and Aerts. The Telenet man lost the first but won the second to seal the second step of the podium behind a dominant Van der Poel, while Van Aert would have to console himself with third.

Further back, the new U23 European champion Tom Pidcock (TP Racing) took fourth place. It’s his best finish in series, which this year combined the U23 and senior races. Last season the Brit triumphed here in the U23 race.

How it happened

Mathieu van der Poel led things out from the start, almost immediately going on the offensive, with only Aerts able to follow the pace set by the European champion. Further back, Van Aert and Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) formed a chase group.

At the end of the first lap, the gap back to the Van Aert-Sweeck duo was already 16 seconds. It was too much for Van Aert, who went on the attack to leave Sweeck behind on lap two. The Belgian began to slowly but surely close the gap to the leaders, while Van der Poel nipped up the inside of Aerts on a downhill section to launch again and lead solo.

By the end of lap three, Van der Poel was 12 seconds up on Aerts, while Van Aert had shaved a few seconds off his deficit to the Telenet man, lying 11 seconds back. Already it looked like the lead trio would be on the final podium in some configuration, with Sweeck and a large chase group, including Pidcock and Eli Iserbyt (Marlux-Bingoal), out of the picture at over a minute down.

Van Aert continued to close in on Aerts at the midpoint of the race, but up front Van der Poel was only extending his lead. He was 35 seconds up on the duo at the end of lap four. A minute further back, Pidcock and Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea Lions) had separated from the chase group, but would need a huge slice of luck to get on the podium.

With Van Aert slipping and falling on lap six, Aerts sensed an opportunity to push the pace, eventually succeeding in getting a gap on the world champion. In the closing laps he pulled away to confirm his second place, and closing in on Van der Poel. Heading into the final lap, Aerts had closed from 40 seconds down to 27, but the late charge wouldn’t be enough to challenge Van der Poel.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus1:04:52 
2Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:24 
3Wout Van Aert (Bel) Cibel-Cebon0:00:35 
4Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Tp Racing0:01:40 
5Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:50 
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus0:02:18 
7Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:31 
8Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:02:53 
9Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts - 7770:03:34 
10Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:03:50 
11Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:04:11 
12Michael Boroš (Cze) Creafin Tüv Sud0:04:14 
13Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles0:04:44 
14Gioele Bertolini (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite0:04:48 
15Diether Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:04:52 
16Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:04:57 
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:05:04 
18Adam Ťoupalík (Cze) Steylaerts - 7770:05:11 
19Daniel Tulett (GBr) TP Racing0:05:14 
20Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan - Charles0:05:33 
21Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)  
22Jakob Dorigoni (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite0:05:47 
23Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:05:58 
24Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal  
25Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice  
26Ben Turner (GBr) Corendon - Circus  
27Arno Debeir (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal  
28Loris Rouiller (Swi)  
29Niels Derveaux (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex  
30Tomas Kopecky (Cze) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice  
31Berne Vankeirsbilck (Bel)  
32Ryan Kamp (Ned)  
33Jenko Bonne (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex  
34Mees Hendrikx (Ned)  
35Timo Kielich (Bel) Steylaerts - 777  
36Seppe Rombouts (Bel) Creafin Tüv Sud  
37Thomas Mein (GBr)  
38Cameron Mason (GBr)  
39Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex  
40David Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus  
41Tim Van Dijke (Ned)  
42Thymen Arensman (Ned)  
43Mick Van Dijke (Ned)  
44Jens Clynhens (Bel)  
45Joe Williams (GBr)  
46Edwin De Wit (Bel)  
47Tetsuki Kaji (Jpn)  
DNFLaurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice  
DNFMichael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal  
DNFWietse Bosmans (Bel) Steylaerts - 777  
DNFYannick Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice  

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