Van der Poel wins second Cyclo-cross European Championship

Van Aert and Sweeck round out the podium

Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) rode a pitch-perfect race to claim his second consecutive European cyclo-cross title Sunday in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. The Dutchman took the lead on lap two and never let it go, despite a late charge from Wout van Aert (Belgium) on the final lap. Laurens Sweeck made it home in third place, giving Belgium two riders on the podium.

Van der Poel came into the European Championships after a disastrous performance at the Koppenbergcross earlier in the week. However, he said that there was no panic and he stuck to his guns before the race.

“It was a good race. After Koppenberg, I stayed calm and did what I had planned and the feeling was good today," he said. "The course here suits me. I rode it last year and it suits me well. I think for now the Olympics is the future. In 2020, I will be focused on the mountain bike and then maybe I will ride some more road after that.”

The men’s riders raced nine laps over the same technical circuit in 's-Hertogenbosch that the women had a short while earlier. It was Van Aert who got off to the best start, building up a solid advantage in the opening part of the first lap. However, Van der Poel dug in and caught up with Van Aert by the time they hit the start of the second lap.

Anyone hoping to see a duel between the top two male cyclo-cross riders of the moment would be disappointed. Not long after he had joined forces with the world champion, Van der Poel would strike out on his own. Van Aert was pushing and nearly came a cropper as he rounded a corner in one of the more technical parts of the course.

Despite his efforts, Van der Poel kept pulling away from Van Aert. Meanwhile, a chase group of four riders formed behind the Belgian. Three of those behind were his teammates Sweeck, Toon Aerts and Michael Vanthourenhout, with the Netherland’s Lars van der Haar completing the group.

By the time the riders had completed four laps, Van der Poel led by 16 seconds and that had increased to 25 three laps later. The front two positions did not change after lap two, but there was a strong battle between the chasers for the final spot on the podium. Vanthourenhout was the first to try and bridge the gap to his teammate but he would be caught and passed by Sweeck. Aerts and Van der Haar were chasing in fourth and fifth places respectively.

Van der Poel started the final lap with a 22-second advantage and held firm until the line to retain his European title.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands)1:02:35 
2Wout van Aert (Belgium)0:00:14 
3Laurens Sweeck (Belgium)0:00:18 
4Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium)0:00:30 
5Toon Aerts (Belgium)0:00:33 
6Lars dan der Haar (Netherlands)0:00:37 
7Joris Nieuwenhuis (Netherlands)0:01:08 
8Quinten Hermans (Belgium)0:01:13 
9Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium)0:01:15 
10Daan Soete (Belgium)0:01:16 
11Tim Merlier (Belgium)0:01:24 
12Corne van Kessel (Netherlands)0:01:56 
13David van der Poel (Netherlands)0:01:57 
14Steve Chainel (France)0:02:00 
15Michael Boroš (Czech Republic)0:02:33 
16Sieben Wouters (Netherlands)0:02:42 
17Stan Godrie (Netherlands)0:02:44 
18Gioele Bertolini (Italy)0:03:20 
19David Menut (France)0:03:28 
20Marcel Wildhaber (Switzerland)0:03:32 
21Timon Rüegg (Switzerland)0:03:34 
22Joshua Dubau (France)0:03:47 
23Matthieu Boulo (France)0:03:50 
24Severin Sägesser (Switzerland)0:03:51 
25Marek Konwa (Poland)0:03:54 
26Tomáš Paprstka (Czech Republic)0:03:55 
27Jan Nesvadba (Czech Republic)0:04:33 
28Simon Zahner (Switzerland)0:04:49 
29Gosse van der Meer (Netherlands)0:05:30 
30Fabien Canal (France)0:06:05 
31Ondrej Glajza (Slovakia)  
32Martin Haring (Slovakia)  
33Henrik Jansson (Sweden)  
34David Eriksson (Sweden)  
35Manuel Müller (Germany)  
36Martin Eriksson (Sweden)  
37Kenneth Hansen (Denmark)  
38Joachim Parbo (Denmark)  
39Jacob Lindsel (Denmark)  
DNFMarcel Meisen (Germany)  

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