A muddy and slippery edition of the Druivencross in Overijse was won by an acrobatic Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) on a wet Sunday afternoon. Meeusen outsprinted Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) was third at a short distance ahead of his teammate Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus).
“It’s nice to have this race on my palmarès. In my career I’ve won a couple of nice races, like the Koppenbergcross, and this one fits in nicely among them. My tactic was to let the others waste their energy, especially Mathieu van der Poel who didn’t race yesterday; he was fresh,” Meeusen said to Sporza.
Belgian champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) had yet another off-day and was never in contention for a fifth consecutive Overijse victory, and he abandoned before the race was halfway.
The Druivencross or Grapes Cross is still regarded as a cyclo-cross classic even though they’re no longer part of one the major ‘cross series. The winner of three editions in five years receives a €12.500 check.
Teammates Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) and Meeusen led the peloton over the first part of the course while Mathieu van der Poel and Sven Nys were forced to bounce back from a poor starts. Van der Poel quickly mud-skated his way to the front while Nys kept struggling, riding outside the top 20.
Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) was unable to keep up with the large front group. After two laps of racing German champion Walsleben was in command but seven riders were still in the mix for the win.
While Nys abandoned the race, Mathieu van der Poel surged away in front. Only Meeusen, Walsleben and Vantornout managed to bridge back up with the young Dutchman. Another acceleration from Van der Poel put everybody in trouble. It was impressive to see how the youngster was running and sliding off the muddy descents.
With three laps to go the gap grew up to 10 seconds but Vantornout and Meeusen kept trying to come back, with Walsleben riding below the radar at longer distance. Van der Poel started showing signs of fatigue and came to a fall on an slippery off-camber descent.
Meeusen was the first to bridge back up but with two laps to go four riders were still in contention for the victory. Walsleben led the penultimate lap with Meeusen shouldering his teammate van der Poel.
Meeusen then moved to the front when hitting the final lap. Vantornout managed to overtake him rather quickly while the BKCP-riders were still in the mix but making too many mistakes to challenge the two riders in front of them. Just before the final muddy sections Meeusen surprised Vantornout and regained the lead, going flat out from that point.
Vantornout was glued on his wheel for the sprint but never managed to get out of it. “When I hit the final corner, I knew the win was mine. I had a lot of fun today,” Meeusen said. Van der Poel sprinted faster than teammate Walsleben to take third place. Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) was fifth at 44 seconds, ahead of Marcel Meisen (Corendon-Kwadro) and Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Kevin Pauwels clearly had his Spanish training camp on his mind and finished 12th. US rider Jonathan Page (XCE LED) was 19th in Overijse.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:59:16|
|2||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team|
|3||Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team|
|4||Philipp Walsleben (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||0:00:10|
|5||Corné Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:44|
|6||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:00:45|
|7||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:49|
|8||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||0:02:05|
|9||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team||0:02:11|
|10||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:02:23|
|11||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:35|
|12||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:43|
|13||Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Veranclassic-Doltcini Cycling Team||0:02:56|
|14||David Van der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||0:03:08|
|15||Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||0:03:16|
|16||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:03:30|
|17||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||0:03:41|
|18||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:04:01|
|19||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||0:04:35|
|20||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Project Cross Racing||0:04:40|
|21||Dave De Cleyn (Bel) Cycling Team Zemst VZW||0:05:21|
|22||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:05:41|
|23||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:05:46|
|24||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team||0:06:07|
|25||Bart Hofman (Bel) Nodrugs Heroes Flanders||0:06:33|
|26||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||0:06:50|
|27||Berne Vankeirsbilck (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team||0:06:56|
|28||Niels Koyen (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team|
|29||Kevin Cant (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team|
|30||Edwin De Wit (Bel) Kon. W.C. De Rupelspurters Boom|
|31||Fabian Obrist (Swi)|
|32||Ramon Sagues Portabella (Spa)|
|33||Remigiusz Gil (Pol) Project Cross Racing|
|34||Skyler Mackey (USA)|