Wout Van Aert demolished the field to win the second World Cup of the season at Jingle Cross in Iowa City on Saturday. The world champion broke his toe while on his way to winning the first round at Cross Vegas on Wednesday but decided to start Jingle Cross after two recovery days. But not even an injury or an early-race mechanical could stop him from taking another solo win, this time ahead of Kevin Pauwels and Laurens Sweeck.
Fifty-eight riders lined up at the start of the second World Cup of the season. Start position was crucial and it was Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) who was the first off the gravel road and into the mud pit. Many of the riders rounded the mud run-through off their bikes, shouldering their bikes.
Telenet-Fidea dominated the opening lap of the race with four riders among the frontrunners over Mt. Krumpit, the circuit’s steep and long climb. The late-afternoon and late-summer heat affected the race and riders, like Meeusen, unzipped their jerseys to allow for better airflow to cool off.
A long line of riders stayed single file as they orbited the circuit to the tune of Toon Aerts’ pace. Following up front were Laurens Sweeck, Rob Peeters and Corne Van Kessel.
World champion and Cross Vegas World Cup winner Wout Van Aert was also in the mix. He started the race on a broken toe, which would certainly have been a disadvantage on its own, and even more so on this course that required a lot of running. He also had an early mechanical and lost some time on the second lap – but neither seemed to affect his dominating performance.
Even though organisers opened up the fencing through the muddy stretch to expose a grassy strip for the riders, their bikes were still caked with mud and many had to change bikes in the pits on the second lap.
Michael Vanthourenhout started lap three in the lead, with a small gap over a chase group of seven riders, but he looked over his shoulder to see where Van Aert was positioned some 20 riders back.
The lead group of Michael Vanthourenhout, Aerts, Meeusen, Van Kessel, Pauwels, Sweeck, Quinten Hermans and Gianni Vermeersch shouldered their bikes as they ran up the steep run-up several seconds ahead of another group of chasers that included Van Aert, who worked his way quickly from the top 20 and back into the top 10, not far behind.
At the start of the fourth lap, Vanthourenhout again led through with Hermans on his wheel, and the pair had a few-second lead on the next group led by Sweeck, up and over the steep run-up. Van Aert attacked his chase group and went on to link up to the first group partway through the fourth of six laps.
Vanthourenhout showed his strength on the climbs, consistently pulling out second after second on his competitors over Mt. Krumpit, and eventually dropping Hermans.
Vanthourenhout continued to lead the race as Sweeck led the chase and caught him through the start-finish line seeing four laps to go. Hermans and Van Aert, who kept getting faster, stayed consistent in their chase and caught up to the two leader through the muddy run.
Van Aert took a clean bike, a little reprieve, and then muscled on in pursuit of lone leader Sweeck. Sweeck crested the run-up just one second ahead of Van Aert followed by Vanathourenhout and Hermans, who eventually couldn’t keep up with the blistering pace.
Sweeck began to show signs of weakness, as Van Aert speed up enough to catch and pass him on the climb. Looking as though he was riding twice as fast, the world champion descended off the back of Mt. Krumpit and pushed out a five-second lead almost immediately.
He raced through the final two laps flawlessly to take his second World Cup victory of the season on a broken toe.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Wout Van Aert (Bel)||1:02:47|
|2||Kevin Pauwels (Bel)||0:00:39|
|3||Laurens Sweeck (Bel)||0:00:56|
|4||Jim Aernouts (Bel)||0:01:30|
|5||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel)||0:01:31|
|6||Corne Van Kessel (Ned)||0:01:45|
|7||Quinten Hermans (Bel)||0:01:48|
|8||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel)||0:01:57|
|9||Toon Aerts (Bel)||0:01:59|
|10||Stephen Hyde (USA)|
|11||Ian Field (GBr)||0:02:20|
|12||Steve Chainel (Fra)||0:02:36|
|13||Vincent Baestaens (Bel)||0:02:45|
|14||Tom Meeusen (Bel)||0:02:52|
|15||Rob Peeters (Bel)||0:02:56|
|16||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned)||0:03:02|
|17||Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel)||0:03:15|
|18||Diether Sweeck (Bel)||0:03:41|
|19||Tim Merlier (Bel)||0:03:49|
|20||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel)||0:04:02|
|21||David Van Der Poel (Ned)||0:04:06|
|22||Dan Timmerman (USA)||0:04:10|
|23||Kerry Werner (USA)||0:04:19|
|24||Jeremy Martin (Can)||0:04:28|
|25||Philipp Walsleben (Ger)||0:04:38|
|26||Anthony Clark (USA)|
|27||Tobin Ortenblad (USA)||0:04:39|
|28||Daan Soete (Bel)||0:04:55|
|29||Allen Krughoff (USA)||0:05:08|
|30||Marcel Meisen (Ger)||0:05:09|
|31||Jonathan Page (USA)||0:05:10|
|32||Matthieu Boulo (Fra)||0:05:25|
|33||Michael Van Den Ham (Can)||0:05:46|
|34||James Driscoll (USA)||0:05:56|
|35||Andrew Dillman (USA)||0:06:27|
|36||Travis Livermon (USA)||0:06:45|
|37||Justin Lindine (USA)||0:07:05|
|38||Derek Zandstra (Can)||0:07:16|
|39||Curtis White (USA)||0:07:31|
|40||Craig Richey (Can)||0:08:13|
|41||Geoff Kabush (Can)|
|42||Jeremy Durrin (USA)|
|43||Jeremy Powers (USA)|
|44||Daniel Summerhill (USA)|
|45||Antonin Marecaille (Fra)|
|46||Mark Mcconnell (Can)|
|47||Benjamin Sonntag (Ger)|
|48||Christian Helmig (Lux)|
|49||Aaron Schooler (Can)|
|50||Troy Wells (USA)|
|51||Yoann Corbihan (Fra)|
|52||Christopher Aitken (Aus)|
|53||Trevor O'donnell (Can)|