One-man show from Van der Haar at Valkenburg

Van Aert finishes second to hold onto his World Cup lead

The dominance of Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) came to an abrupt end at the second round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Valkenburg, Netherlands. The course around the famous Cauberg climb is clearly the terrain of Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin), who won for the third year in a row and remains unbeaten on the technical course with its short steep climbing sections.

Van Aert was good enough for second, and in doing so maintained his lead in the World Cup standings after two events, leading on 150 points - now just 10 ahead of Van der Haar in second and 15 clear of Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) in third. 

“I felt really good. If I want to win then this is a course where I have to try it,” said Van der Haar, referring to the dominance from Van Aert.

After a fast opening lap from Van Aert, home rider Van der Haar countered with an extra acceleration at the start of the second lap when the World Cup leader had to gasp for air. Van Aert had to bow his head and from there Van der Haar completed a race-long solo ride on the famous Cauberg.

Three Belgian riders were in the mix for second place: Van Aert, Nys and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). After an acceleration halfway through the race Pauwels cracked. In the final lap Van Aert was able to shake off Nys and hold on to his lead in the World Cup standings.

“I’m still the World Cup leader. It’s good to be riding in Koksijde with the white jersey,” said Van Aert said, who didn’t mind that his winning streak came to an end. “I’m glad I don’t have to be asked about it anymore. I have to be honest about today. I played my cards in the opening lap and was immediately countered by Lars. Then it’s clear. I was good but not strong enough to fight up against Lars.”

For Sven Nys the third place was a result he could live with. “I worked with Wout to try and keep Lars under pressure. I wanted a podium result and Kevin Pauwels was clearly on the limit. I didn’t have something left to fight up against Wout in the final lap. What surprised me today was how much time Lars was able to gain in the descent. Each time he took 2-3 seconds. It was a matter of confidence,” he said.

Thanks to the fast start from Van Aert and the counter-attack from Van der Haar there wasn’t much tactical racing action going on in the rest of the race. Van der Haar explained that he was able to make good use of Van Aert’s fast start.

“You can’t let him go. You can’t wait too long. You have to do your race. You have to do it on your terms. The first thing to do is to get Wout back. Of course I was hurting but when he let me take the lead on the road I figured I had to go through the pain barrier and push through,” Van der Haar told Telenet Play Sports.

In the World Cup standings Van Aert leads with 150 points, which is 10 more than Van der Haar. Nys is third overall with 135 points.

Michael Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) confirmed that his podium result in CrossVegas wasn’t a fluke by finishing sixth behind an impressive Swiss champion Julien Taramarcaz (Era Real Estate - Murprotec) in Valkenburg. With 115 points he shares fourth place overall with team-mate Pauwels. Just like in Sunday’s result Taramarcaz is best of the rest in the World Cup standings, placing sixth with 95 points. He’s followed by Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) and Laurens Sweeck (Era Real Estate - Murprotec).

The next round of the World cup is held next month in the sand dunes of Koksijde, Belgium. 

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lars Van Der Haar (Ned)1:05:58 
2Wout Van Aert (Bel)0:00:24 
3Sven Nys (Bel)0:00:34 
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel)0:00:59 
5Julien Taramarcaz (Swi)0:01:40 
6Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel)0:01:59 
7Corne Van Kessel (Ned)0:02:05 
8Clément Venturini (Fra)0:02:06 
9Diether Sweeck (Bel)0:02:13 
10Laurens Sweeck (Bel)0:02:18 
11Marcel Meisen (Ger)0:02:25 
12Tim Merlier (Bel)0:02:31 
13Francis Mourey (Fra)0:02:49 
14Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned)0:02:56 
15Tom Meeusen (Bel)0:03:18 
16Rob Peeters (Bel)0:03:21 
17Toon Aerts (Bel)0:03:24 
18Jens Adams (Bel)0:03:28 
19Sascha Weber (Ger)0:03:33 
20Stan Godrie (Ned)0:03:41 
21Niels Wubben (Ned)0:03:50 
22Fabien Doubey (Fra)0:03:55 
23Vincent Baestaens (Bel)0:04:05 
24Michael Boros (Cze)0:04:10 
25Gianni Vermeersch (Bel)0:04:21 
26Marcel Wildhaber (Swi)0:04:32 
27Ian Field (GBr)0:04:43 
28David Van Der Poel (Ned)0:05:03 
29Jim Aernouts (Bel)0:05:05 
30Martin Haring (Svk)0:05:16 
31Simon Zahner (Swi)0:05:21 
32Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned)0:05:39 
33Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:05:48 
34Philipp Walsleben (Ger)0:05:51 
35Severin Saegesser (Swi)0:06:07 
36Nicolas Samparisi (Ita)  
37Andreas Moser (Swi)  
38Vojtech Nipl (Cze)  
39Lukas Winterberg (Swi)  
40Josep Betalu (Spa)  
41Jeremy Powers (USA)  
42Lubomir Petrus (Cze)  
43Ondrej Bambula (Cze)  
44Marco Bianco (Ita)  
45Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita)  
46Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)  
47Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned)  
48Mariusz Gil (Pol)  
49Michael Wildhaber (Swi)  
50Alois Falenta (Fra)  
51Kenneth Hansen (Den)  
52Jakub Skala (Cze)  
53Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)  
54Brian Matter (USA)  
55Yannick Mayer (Ger)  
56Michal Malík (Cze)  
57Ben Sumner (GBr)  
58Joachim Parbo (Den)  
59Gusty Bausch (Lux)  
60Martin Eriksson (Swe)  
61Vincent Dias Dos Santos (Lux)  
62Roland Siegbert (Ger)  
63Oriol Domenech (Spa)  
64Patrick Lechner (Ger)  
DNFSteve Chainel (Fra)  
DNFRadomir Simunek (Cze)  
DNSKlaas Vantornout (Bel)  

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