Van der Haar repeats with Zolder World Cup win

Pauwels extends World Cup lead with second

With an impressive long solo ride, Dutch champion Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) repeated last year’s World Cup victory in Heusden-Zolder. In 2013 he won out of a large lead group, while this time around he completed a long solo ride to win the fifth World Cup round. 

On a chilly Boxing Day afternoon, the 23 year-old Dutch champion grabbed his second win of the season with a 45 second margin on World Cup leader Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) despite a late dropped chain.

“For me it was a beautiful victory,” Van der Haar told Sporza. “I’ve been in good shape again but I just needed a bit of luck to finish it off. In the last races every time something happened. I thought it happened again with my chain. In the end I was strong enough to hold it off.”

The former F1 car racing circuit in Heusden-Zolder will also be the location for the 2016 UCI cyclo-cross world championships.

Pauwels enjoys a massive 80-point lead in the World Cup classification, but the Belgian rider still has to finish next month’s final World Cup round to be sure of the overall victory.

“He was just better than me today. [...] I’m second which isn’t bad so I’m pleased with that,” Pauwels said.

Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) was best of the rest, winning the battle for third place in the sprint from Swiss champion Julien Taramarcaz (Corendon-Kwadro), who rode his best race of the season.

“I think I got the most out of it,” Van Kessel said. “I’m pleased. Early on I was not taking the initiative. On a course like this with a lot of interval that’s the way to do it. It’s an important result for the team.”

During the first two laps it seemed like last year’s scenario was being followed, with a large lead group staying together for most of the race. Van der Haar was always paying attention at the front, with Pauwels keeping the Dutchman in sight. Things turned around at the end of the second lap. Van der Haar accelerated and five riders joined him in the lead. Nobody was willing to share the work with the Dutch champion on the asphalt of the car racing circuit, crossing the finish line to start the third lap.

Instead of sitting back, Van der Haar accelerated fiercely on the asphalt.

“There was an opportunity when Kevin was a little behind,” Van der Haar said. “I thought they would come back but they didn’t do anything. That’s when I thought: let’s try it with a real attack. I don’t do it often.”

Van der Haar's winning move followed a stalemate in the leading group, with Pauwels, Van Kessel, Julien Taramarcaz (Corenson-KwadrO), German champion Philipp Walsleben and his BKCP-Powerplus teammate David van der Poel marking each other closely. Walsleben tried to shake things up but couldn't get a gap, but when van der Haar countered, nobody could follow.

Pauwels didn’t seem to want to chase, the rest were unable or didn’t dare to chase. In no time, Van der Haar collected a gap of 15 seconds over the first chasers where Pauwels switched bikes.

“I made a mistake,” Pauwels said. “My brake was touching my rear wheel and I didn’t dare to switch bikes before because it was going so fast. That’s why I was riding at the back of the group. I should have been more to the front.”

There was a counter-attack from Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) with David van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus), but Meeusen blew his engine, eventually finishing only 17th and dropping from second to fifth in the World Cup standings.

“I tried my best but it wasn’t good,” Meeusen told Sporza. “I expected a lot and the warm-up was good but after one acceleration it was over. I’m only human too."

During the fourth lap Pauwels accelerated away from the chase group and tried to get back to Van der Haar. He got back to 12 seconds from the leader, who then decided he might as well try to go from there. Twelve seconds became sixteen seconds. Every lap Van der Haar extended his lead and when he had more than half a minute it all seemed in vain when his chain dropped after the steep and bumpy descent. After stopping and putting the chain back on, Van der Haar looked back and saw he still had a gap.

As he crossed the finish line on the long straight line, Van der Haar saw that Pauwels was still a long way back. The gap was back down to 23 seconds but that grew in the two closing laps. Van der Haar tried to please the crowd with a shy attempt at a Sagan-like wheelie before crossing the line with a loud-out shout. Pauwels quietly rolled across the line in second place at 45 seconds.

Van Kessel won a long sprint for third place ahead of a disappointed Taramarcaz. The duo got rid of the BKCP duo of Philipp Walsleben and David van der Poel in the final lap. Young Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won the sprint for seventh place at short distance. US champion Jeremy Powers finished 18th, just behind Tom Meeusen.

In the World Cup classification Pauwels has 370 points with only one round left. His lead of 80 points is exactly what one gets for a win. That means Pauwels still needs to score a single point if Van der Haar would get the win in Hoogerheide next month. Van Kessel is third, 87 points from Pauwels.


Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Shimano Development Team1:08:10 
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:45 
3Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:01:10 
4Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team  
5Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team0:01:26 
6David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team0:01:31 
7Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:01:33 
8Sascha Weber (Ger) Veranclassic-Doltcini Cycling Team0:01:34 
9Martin Bina (Cze) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team  
10Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team0:01:39 
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team0:01:48 
12Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team0:02:01 
13Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:07 
14Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team  
15Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:08 
16Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:02:14 
17Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:03:16 
18Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha-Focus0:03:31 
19Fabien Canal (Fra) Armée de Terre0:03:40 
20Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Remerx-Merida Team Kolin0:03:47 
21Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:03:55 
22Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:03:56 
23Mariusz Gil (Pol) Project Cross Racing0:04:13 
24Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team0:04:29 
25Bryan Falaschi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti0:04:30 
26Ole Quast (Ger)0:04:36 
27Michael Boros (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tabor  
28Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team0:04:46 
29Martin Haring (Svk)0:05:10 
30Clement Lhotellerie (Fra)0:05:38 
31Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned)0:05:56 
32Kenneth Hansen (Den)0:05:59 
33Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott- Odlo MTB Racing Team0:06:12 
34Matej Lasak (Cze)0:06:38 
35Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:06:43 
36Josep Betalu (Spa)0:06:52 
37Alois Falenta (Fra)0:06:53 
38Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:07:10 
39Flavien Dassonville (Fra) BIGMAT - AUBER 93  
40Ismael Felix Barba Frutos (Spa)  
41Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)  
42Agustin Navarro Vidal (Spa)  
43Aaron Schooler (Can) Focus CX Team  
44Robert Marion (USA) American Classic Pro Cyclocross  
45Asier Arregui Dominguez (Spa)  
46Yannick Mayer (Ger)  
47Ramon Sagues Portabella (Spa)  
48Angus Edmond (NZl)  
49Mark Mcconnell (Can)  
50Ulrich Theobald (Ger)  
51Arnau Rota Cano (Spa)  
52Garry Millburn (Aus)  
53Asier Urdaibai Erauzkin (Spa)  
Elite Men World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team370 pts
2Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Shimano Development Team290 
3Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team283 
4Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team269 
5Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team257 
6Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team212 
7Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team201 
8Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team190 
9Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team185 
10Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team180 
11Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha-Focus172 
12Sascha Weber (Ger) Veranclassic-Doltcini Cycling Team170 
13Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team169 
14Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team169 
15Francis Mourey (Fra) Francaise des Jeux164 
16Fabien Canal (Fra) Armée de Terre164 
17Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team164 
18David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team156 
19Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team148 
20Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team147 
21Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team145 
22Michael Boros (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tabor142 
23Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team129 
24Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott- Odlo MTB Racing Team119 
25Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)119 
26Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles106 
27Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike106 
28Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team102 
29Mariusz Gil (Pol) Project Cross Racing99 
30Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team95 
31Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Remerx-Merida Team Kolin93 
32Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team82 
33Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team80 
34Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team78 
35Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team77 
36Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team71 
37Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team65 
38Kenneth Hansen (Den)62 
39Josep Betalu (Spa)56 
40Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned)52 
41Radomir Simunek (Cze) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team52 
42Clement Lhotellerie (Fra)51 
43Andreas Moser (Swi)48 
44Arnaud Grand (Swi) BMC Development Team46 
45Martin Bina (Cze) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team44 
46Ole Quast (Ger)39 
47Lukas Winterberg (Swi)36 
48Martin Haring (Svk)35 
49Severin Saegesser (Swi)35 
50Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team33 
51Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti31 
52Flavien Dassonville (Fra) BIGMAT - AUBER 9330 
53Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team29 
54Jakub Skala (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tabor28 
55Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)28 
56Bryan Falaschi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti26 
57Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Skoda26 
58Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team25 
59Marco Bianco (Ita)23 
60Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa)21 
61Jack Clarkson (GBr)19 
62Melvin Rulliere (Fra)19 
63Matej Lasak (Cze)17 
64Jeremy Durrin (USA) Neon Velo Cycling Team15 
65Alois Falenta (Fra)14 
66Steven James (GBr)13 
67Ismael Felix Barba Frutos (Spa)11 
68Ben Sumner (GBr)11 
69Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh Clement Professional Cyclocross Team11 
70Aaron Schooler (Can) Focus CX Team11 
71Martin Gujan (Swi)10 
72Agustin Navarro Vidal (Spa)10 
73Joachim Parbo (Den)10 
74Alex Paton (GBr)9 
75Ramon Sagues Portabella (Spa)9 
76Jody Crawforth (GBr)8 
77Robert Marion (USA) American Classic Pro Cyclocross7 
78Michael Schweizer (Ger)7 
79Gusty Bausch (Lux)7 
80Angus Edmond (NZl)7 
81Asier Arregui Dominguez (Spa)6 
82Nicholas Barnes (GBr)6 
83Yannick Mayer (Ger)5 
84Michael Wildhaber (Swi)5 
85Elia Silvestri (Ita)5 
86Jack Ravenscroft (GBr)4 
87Felix Drumm (Ger)4 
88David Montgomery (Irl)3 
89Mark Mcconnell (Can)3 
90Glen Kinning (Irl)2 
91Ulrich Theobald (Ger)1 
92Cameron Jette (Can)1 


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