At only one week of the Valkenburg 2018 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) won a fast edition of the GP Adrie van der Poel, the ninth and final Telenet UCI World Cup round of the season in Hoogerheide (Netherlands).
The 23-year-old Dutch rider was already certain of the overall victory in the World Cup. World champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Charles) was yet again runner-up, at short distance this time. Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) was third at nearly two minutes from the winner.
"It's good to win here but it took a lot of effort. My start was good but I had to shift back and from there the gap remained at about 15 seconds. I was unable to go faster but the same counted for Wout. It was important to avoid the mistakes," van der Poel said in the post-race flash interview.
The youngest son of the race organizer blasted away straight from the start on a grey and windy Sunday afternoon in Hoogerheide, near the Dutch-Belgian border.
On a fast but technical course, van der Poel was only seen back at the finish line. Van Aert didn't have a great start and by the time he moved into second position, van der Poel was long gone. Both riders rode flawlessly throughout the race and lapped no less than 39 riders during their duel.
"During the opening lap I was really bad. I was unable to follow straight at the start but luckily I had a front-row start position, otherwise I would've been further back when coming off the asphalt," a coughing Van Aert said in the post-race flash interview.
The Belgian rider did recover and he came up with a good fight. He made van der Poel work hard for the victory. "Luckily, I started going better and I was able to keep the pressure high on Mathieu. Halfway, the race it was hard to keep up the effort but in the final laps I felt much better. I'm satisfied about today," Van Aert said.
He crossed the line at only eight seconds from winner van der Poel. He's also the runner-up in the World Cup classification in which the top-five remained the same.
"The world championships are the only thing on my mind so this good results comes unexpectedly. The focus is on Valkenburg so I'm satisfied with this result at short distance from Mathieu," Van Aert said.
Nearly two minutes later, Michael Vanthourenhout clenched his fist after winning a hard-fought battle for the final podium spot over Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus). It was the first World Cup podium result of the season for Vanthourenhout, who never finished out of the top-10 in a World Cup round this season thus claiming fourth place in the World Cup classification, behind Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) but just ahead of Sweeck.
"It's better to head off to the world championships with a good feeling. I'm satisfied with third place. I'm longing for the course in Valkenburg. I've seen it this week and it suits me. I’ve been third over there in the past," Vanthourenhout said. During the first half of the race he rode together with Sweeck but in the sixth of ten laps he dropped his compatriot. The latter fought back and two laps later the duo was back together. In the final lap Vanthourenhout managed to shake off Sweeck for good.
"I think he made a mistake in the forest and I got ten metres. From there it was about going flat out until the finish," Vanthourenhout said.
Half a minute later, Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Bingoal) won the fight for sixth place over Aerts and Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles). It was Pauwels’ answer for not being selected in the Belgian team for worlds. The 33 year-old didn't fit in the young selection after a somewhat anonymous season. Pauwels is sixth in the World Cup classification.
David van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) had his typical fast start but held on to a top-10 result, finishing eighth at nearly three minutes of his younger brother. Compatriot Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea Lions) was unable to repeat last year's victory. After an anonymous race he finished ninth, ahead of Michael Boros (Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice). The Czech held off three riders from the Telenet Fidea Lions team and French champion Steve Chainel (Chazal-Canyon).
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|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned)||1:05:54|
|2||Wout Van Aert (Bel)||0:00:08|
|3||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel)||0:01:41|
|4||Laurens Sweeck (Bel)||0:01:58|
|5||Kevin Pauwels (Bel)||0:02:22|
|6||Tim Merlier (Bel)||0:02:24|
|7||Toon Aerts (Bel)||0:02:27|
|8||David Van Der Poel (Ned)||0:02:50|
|9||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned)||0:03:02|
|10||Michael Boroš (Cze)||0:03:14|
|11||Quinten Hermans (Bel)||0:03:25|
|12||Corne Van Kessel (Ned)||0:03:32|
|13||Daan Soete (Bel)|
|14||Steve Chainel (Fra)||0:03:43|
|15||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel)||0:03:44|
|16||Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa)||0:03:53|
|17||Gioele Bertolini (Ita)||0:04:12|
|18||Marcel Meisen (Ger)||0:04:37|
|19||Jim Aernouts (Bel)||0:04:39|
|20||Nicolas Cleppe (Bel)||0:04:42|
|21||Jens Adams (Bel)||0:04:50|
|22||Diether Sweeck (Bel)||0:04:55|
|23||Stephen Hyde (USA)||0:04:59|
|24||Tom Meeusen (Bel)||0:05:05|
|25||Matthieu Boulo (Fra)||0:05:10|
|26||David Menut (Fra)||0:05:23|
|27||Luca Braidot (Ita)||0:05:29|
|28||Marcel Wildhaber (Swi)||0:05:34|
|29||Severin Sägesser (Swi)||0:05:41|
|30||Jan Nesvadba (Cze)||0:06:03|
|31||Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita)||-1 Lap|
|32||Martin Haring (Svk)|
|33||Ismael Esteban Aguero (Spa)|
|34||Nicolas Samparisi (Ita)|
|35||Kevin Suarez Fernandez (Spa)|
|36||Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita)|
|37||Kerry Werner (USA)|
|38||Francis Mourey (Fra)|
|39||Ian Field (GBr)|
|40||Twan Van Den Brand (Ned)|
|41||Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibañez (Spa)|
|42||Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa)|
|43||Jack Kisseberth (USA)|
|44||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned)|
|45||Michael Van Den Ham (Can)|
|46||Manuel Müller (Ger)|
|47||Vincent Dias Dos Santos (Lux)|
|48||Jeremy Powers (USA)|
|49||Eric Thompson (USA)|
|50||Florian Trigo (Fra)|
|51||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned)|
|52||Emil Hekele (Cze)|
|53||Cody Kaiser (USA)|
|54||Gusty Bausch (Lux)|
|55||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)|
|56||Garry Millburn (Aus)|
|57||Ondrej Glajza (Svk)|
|58||Daniele Braidot (Ita)|
|59||Hikaru Kosaka (Jpn)|
|60||Max Lindenau (Ger)|
|61||Scott Thiltges (Lux)|
|62||Ulrich Theobald (Ger)|
|63||Mark Mcconnell (Can)|
|64||Philipp Heigl (Aut)|
|65||Joachim Parbo (Den)|
|66||Tyler Cloutier (USA)|
|67||Martin Eriksson (Swe)|
|68||Yannick Mayer (Ger)|
|69||Glenn Kinning (Irl)|
|DNF||Stan Godrie (Ned)|
|DNF||Maxime Gossard (Fra)|
|DNF||Simon Zahner (Swi)|
|DNF||Daniel Ania Gonzalez (Spa)|
|DNS||Vincent Baestaens (Bel)|
|DNS||Wietse Bosmans (Bel)|
|DNS||Gosse Van Der Meer (Ned)|