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