Van der Poel wins Valkenburg World Cup

Dutch champion solos in ahead of Vanthourenhout, Van Aert

Dutch champion Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) won the third Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round in Valkenburg, Netherlands. Once again the young generation dominated the race in the Elite Men category. The 21-year-old Dutch rider finished solo, well ahead of World champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napoleon Games).

"It's good to win a World Cup round," Van der Poel told Telenet Play Sports. A crash from Van Aert made it easier to keep his gap over his rivals. "Yesterday it was my turn to crash, now it was Wout. If we put each other under pressure mistakes can happen more quickly. We're a close match to each other these days. To make the difference we have to test our limits."

Halfway through the nine-lap race around the famous Cauberg climb there were five leaders in the race with Van der Poel and Van Aert clearly being the strongest men. With three laps to go on the mostly dry course Van der Poel jumped away in a technical section, creating a small gap on Van Aert, Vanthourenhout and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea). One lap later the gap was still there when Van Aert slipped away in a fast off-camber descent, taking Meeusen down with him.

"He already had a gap when I fell. It's stupid to say you just crash out of the blue. Riders know why they crash: it's because you're riding on your limit. Mathieu was simply better and I'm happy I could salvage second place," Van Aert admitted.

Van der Poel easily brought the victory home, winning with a lead of 14 seconds over Van Aert and 21 seconds ahead of Vanthourenhout. "I was riding on my limit. I had a reference point where I saw that the gap was suddenly much bigger. I thought that Wout was the only rider not to crash but they were all affected," Van der Poel said.

Much earlier in the race Van Aert had played his cards. After a fast start from European champion Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) it was the world champion who took over the initiative. Only Van der Haar, Vanthourenhout, Meeusen, Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea) and Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games) were glued on his wheel.

Van der Poel didn't have a great start and the fast pace up front put him in trouble. Van der Haar crashed out of the lead, and halfway into the second lap Van Aert dropped his rivals, with Van der Poel still trailing at 11 seconds. During the two following laps Van der Poel went in pursuit of Van Aert. The chase in front was full on and their pace blew away the rest of the pack. After four laps of racing the duo was 20 seconds ahead of chasers Meeusen, Vanthourenhout and Pauwels.

"Early on I threw my cards on the table and Mathieu was able to come back," Van Aert said. After the duo got together the pace dropped again as both riders needed time to recover. "He put me under a lot of pressure and I was glad I could close the gap. Once he has a gap it's hard to close down. It was an option to leave him alone in front for a bit longer but you don't know how good he is," Van der Poel said.

Vanthourenhout profited from the slower pace up front to bridge back up, together with Meeusen and Pauwels. Due to the crash from Van Aert and Meeusen the young Belgian nearly captured second place but Van Aert passed him again late in the race.

"Due to the crash I had quite a big gap but I knew it would be hard to hold on to. After the stairs I felt I didn't have enough left in the tank," Vanthourenhout told Telenet Play Sports.

Tom Meeusen was in the mix for a podium spot in Valkenburg after a week in which he received a critical comment from team manager Sven Nys. "It's been a turbulent week. I'm happy I managed two fourth places this weekend," Meeusen said. Meeusen hit Van Aert's bike with his knee during the pile-up in the penultimate lap but he didn't mind too much. "It's a challenging course and then this can happen. Wout went full gas and slipped away, getting stuck behind the fencing," Meeusen said.

In the World Cup standings Van Aert leads with 230 points, strengthening his lead over Laurens Sweeck (Beobank-Corendon) who finished ninth in Valkenburg up to 56 points. Michael Vanthourenhout moves up to third place with 166 points, two more than teammate Pauwels. Van der Poel didn't participate in the two first World Cup rounds; he's 19th overall with 80 points.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon1:05:13 
2Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice0:00:14 
3Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games0:00:21 
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:34 
5Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games0:00:49 
6Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:56 
7Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:01:07 
8Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:22 
9Laurens Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus0:01:28 
10Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice0:01:33 
11Jens Adams (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice0:01:48 
12Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:56 
13Marcel Meisen (Ger) Steylaerts-Verona0:02:07 
14Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:02:15 
15Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Beobank-Corendon0:02:28 
16Simon Zahner (Swi)0:02:30 
17Michael Boros (Cze) ERA-Circus0:02:36 
18Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Team Steylaerts  
19Daan Soete (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:39 
20Steve Chainel (Fra)0:02:44 
21Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:02:45 
22Severin Saegesser (Swi)0:02:46 
23Jan Nesvadba (Cze) Expres Cz-Merida Team Kolin0:02:51 
24Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) Beobank-Corendon0:02:57 
25Martin Haring (Svk) Dukla Banska Bystrica  
26David Van Der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon0:03:03 
27Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:03:11 
28Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games0:03:20 
29Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:03:25 
30Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:03:38 
31Matthieu Boulo (Fra)0:03:43 
32Francis Mourey (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:03:56 
33Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:04:14 
34Kevin Suarez Fernandez (Spa)0:04:30 
35Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Expres CZ-Merida Team Kolin0:04:47 
36Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:04:52 
37Diether Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus0:05:02 
38Lukas Winterberg (Swi)0:05:11 
39Alois Falenta (Fra)0:05:24 
40Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Beobank-Corendon0:05:38 
41Andreas Moser (Swi)0:05:41 
42Nicolas Samparisi (Ita)0:06:21 
43Michal Malik (Cze)0:06:51 
44Anthonin Didier (Fra)0:06:57 
45Matej Lasak (Cze)  
46Tobin Ortenblad (USA) Santa Cruz Factory Racing  
47Sascha Weber (Ger)  
48Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita)  
49Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) ERA-Circus  
50Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)  
51Mariusz Gil (Pol)  
52Christian Helmig (Lux)  
53Yoann Corbihan (Fra)  
54Marvin Schmidt (Ger)  
55Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa)  
56Lex Reichling (Lux)  
World Cup standings after three races
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice230 pts
2Laurens Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus174 
3Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games166 
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games164 
5Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions154 
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions137 
7Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Team Steylaerts126 
8Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice118 
9Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games117 
10Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions113 
11Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Beobank-Corendon108 
12Steve Chainel (Fra)102 
13Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions101 
14Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions98 
15Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions96 
16Rob Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice91 
17Daan Soete (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions85 
18Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) Beobank-Corendon82 
19Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon80 
20Matthieu Boulo (Fra)75 
21Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles67 
22Diether Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus66 
23Stephen Hyde (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com62 
24Simon Zahner (Swi)62 
25Marcel Meisen (Ger) Steylaerts-Verona59 
26David Van der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon58 
27Jeremy Martin (Can) Focus CX Team Canada55 
28Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo Mtb Racing Team53 
29Tobin Ortenblad (USA) Santa Cruz Factory Racing53 
30Michael Van Den Ham (Can) Garneau - Easton Cycling52 
31Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Beobank-Corendon49 
32Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin48 
33Jeremy Powers (USA) Aspire Racing41 
34Jens Adams (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice40 
35Travis Livermon (USA) Maxxis-Shimano Pro Cyclocross40 
36Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits39 
37Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) ERA-Circus39 
38Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing39 
39James Driscoll (USA) Raleigh Clement39 
40Anthony Clark (USA) Squid38 
41Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team37 
42Dan Timmerman (USA) Stan'S Notubes Elite CX37 
43Kerry Werner (USA) Kona Endurance Team37 
44Michael Boros (Cze) ERA-Circus34 
45Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji34 
46Jeremy Durrin (USA) Neon Velo Cycling Team32 
47Allen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport/Yogaglo32 
48Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels30 
49Severin Saegesser (Swi)29 
50Jan Nesvadba (Cze) Expres Cz-Merida Team Kolin28 
51Craig Richey (Can) Garneau - Easton Cycling28 
52Martin Haring (Svk) Dukla Banska Bystrica26 
53Justin Lindine (USA) Apex / NBX / Trek26 
54Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team25 
55Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels21 
56Francis Mourey (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept19 
57Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing18 
58Kevin Suarez Fernandez (Spa)17 
59Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Expres Cz-Merida Team Kolin16 
60Andrew Dillman (USA) Cyclocross Alliance16 
61Hector Riveros (Col)16 
62Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar16 
63Mark Mcconnell (Can) Hot Sauce Cycling X Garneau16 
64Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)15 
65Curtis White (USA) Rally Cycling14 
66Lukas Winterberg (Swi)13 
67Alois Falenta (Fra)12 
68Benjamin Sonntag (Ger) Team Clif Bar11 
69Andreas Moser (Swi)10 
70Nicolas Samparisi (Ita)9 
71Michal Malik (Cze)8 
72Anthonin Didier (Fra)7 
73Matej Lasak (Cze)6 
74Antonin Marecaille (Fra) AVC Aix En Provence6 
75Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) Kalas-NNOF6 
76Aaron Schooler (Can) Focus CX Team Canada6 
77Sascha Weber (Ger)4 
78Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita)3 
79Christian Helmig (Lux)3 
80Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)1 
81Yoann Corbihan (Fra)1 
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