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Van Aert solos to victory at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross

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Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Meeusen navigates the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Tom Meeusen navigates the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mariusz Gil in the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Mariusz Gil in the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bart Aernouts at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Bart Aernouts at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joeri Adams ay Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Joeri Adams ay Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sven Nys in the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Sven Nys in the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Meeusen leads through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Tom Meeusen leads through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kevin Pauwels powers through the bog at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Kevin Pauwels powers through the bog at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rob Peeters at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Rob Peeters at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kevin Pauwels powers through the bog at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Kevin Pauwels powers through the bog at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mathieu van der Poel at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Mathieu van der Poel at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mud ruled the day at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Mud ruled the day at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Gianni Vermeersch on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Gianni Vermeersch on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Gianni Vemeersch at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Gianni Vemeersch at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ramon Sinkeldam leads through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Ramon Sinkeldam leads through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philipp Walsleben on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Philipp Walsleben on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Meisen navigates the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Marcel Meisen navigates the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Meeusen in the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Tom Meeusen in the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rob Peeters and Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Rob Peeters and Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mathieu van der Poel out front at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Mathieu van der Poel out front at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert leads through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert leads through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mathieu van der Poel covered in mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Mathieu van der Poel covered in mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mathieu van der Poel finishes at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Mathieu van der Poel finishes at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mathieu van der Poel crosses the line at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Mathieu van der Poel crosses the line at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mathieu van der Poel rides at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Mathieu van der Poel rides at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert runs through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert runs through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert runs through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert runs through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Meeusen on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Tom Meeusen on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mathieu van der Poel rusn the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Mathieu van der Poel rusn the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Meeusen at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Tom Meeusen at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Gianni Vermeersch runs at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Gianni Vermeersch runs at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Meeusen finishes Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Tom Meeusen finishes Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Denuwelaere finishes Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Jan Denuwelaere finishes Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Denuwelaere at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Jan Denuwelaere at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sven Nys finishes Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Sven Nys finishes Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sven Nys finishes Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Sven Nys finishes Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ramon Sinkeldam at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Ramon Sinkeldam at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sven Nys at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Sven Nys at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Some mud sections were to thick to ride at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Some mud sections were to thick to ride at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The mud was thick at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

The mud was thick at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mathieu van der Poel on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Mathieu van der Poel on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel battle at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel battle at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sven Mys runs a muddy section at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Sven Mys runs a muddy section at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert leads through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Wout Van Aert leads through the mud at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Yu Takenouchi on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.

Yu Takenouchi on the run-up at Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)

Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Van Aert salutes victory on the podium at Azencross

Van Aert salutes victory on the podium at Azencross
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)

Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Van Aert wins Azencross

Van Aert wins Azencross
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross podium

Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross podium
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Mathieu Van Der Poel (BKCP - Powerplus)

Mathieu Van Der Poel (BKCP - Powerplus)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)

Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb - Napoleon Games)

Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb - Napoleon Games)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)

Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Jan Denuwelaere (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)

Jan Denuwelaere (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Jan Denuwelaere (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)

Jan Denuwelaere (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink)

Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea)

Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink)

Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink)

Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace) victory salute

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace) victory salute
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace) wins at Azencross

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace) wins at Azencross
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace) takes a bow

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace) takes a bow
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Wout Van Aert on the run-up

Wout Van Aert on the run-up
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)

Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink)

Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) won the muddy sixth round of the Bpost Bank Trophy cyclo-cross series on Tuesday afternoon. The 20-year-old Belgian won the Azencross in snow covered Loenhout, Belgium ahead of fellow youngster Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus). On an unforgiving course with snow, mud and ice water, Van Aert profited from a small mistake from Van der Poel to ride away and take his fourth win in five of the series' rounds. It’s Van Aert's eighth win among the pro ranks this season.

“The victory and an improved classification, it was a fantastic day,” Van Aert told Sporza.

Van Aert, world champion in the men's under-23 category extended his lead in the Bpost Bank Trofee series over Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) up to 4:45 minutes. “It’s a big gap and that should not go wrong. Baal will still be a tough race, a sufferfest. Hopefully I can round things up in my hometown Lille,” Van Aert said. “The cold only affected my feet. The rest of the body was warm enough on a course like this.”

Nys didn’t have the general classification on his mind. The 38-year-old Belgian champion had his best race in several weeks and battled long for third place at long distance from the two leaders, eventually finishing eighth. “I had a lot of power in my legs but didn’t dare to go flat out in the final lap. The result wasn’t important. What mattered was making progress. Finishing on the podium in Baal would be great,” said Nys to Sporza.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) won the fight for the final podium spot, finishing third at two minutes back from Van Aert. He remains in fourth place in the general classification at three seconds from Nys.

Van Aert and Van der Poel relegated the rest of the starting field during the second of seven demanding laps. At the intermediate sprint, he picked up the fifteen bonus seconds just ahead Van der Poel. Meeusen was first of the chasers at that stage, picking up five bonus seconds but trailing by nine seconds on the leaders.

From there the young duo kept extending their lead over a large chase group in which positions often changed. During the fourth lap, Van Aert chest-planted on his handlebars when he cut a corner too short but Van der Poel was unable to profit. Two laps later, Van der Poel got stuck in the same corner, though in different style. This time Van Aert was able to create a small gap that Van der Poel never closed down.

The gap quickly grew up to 16 seconds when hitting the final lap. The first two positions remained the same. A mud-clad Van Aert crossed the finish line with his mouth wide open, then taking a bow.

“It was a really hard course today. My goal was to defend my classification and improve it if possible. On a course like this that’s a unique opportunity. Mathieu was the perfect road companion who wanted to race. Nevertheless, I had to ride when the pace dropped because I rode for the classification. I expected to fall short in the final laps. Still, I managed to keep up the pace in the two final laps, whereas he somewhat faded, I think,” Van Aert said.

Meeusen’s technical excellence - often bunny-hopping ditches - propelled him to third place. Fourth-placed Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) rode a remarkably strong race. Coming from behind, he helped teammate Kevin Pauwels several times on the long road section, flatted but still finished ahead of his team leader, who rolled across the finish line in sixth place.

Pauwels trails Nys in the general classification by one second. In between the Sunweb teammates, mud-specialist Jan Denuwelaere (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) placed fifth, riding his best race of the season shortly after announcing he would ride at a lower level next season.

While Nys, Pauwels and Meeusen are ranked within three seconds of each other, the rest of the pack is out of contention for a podium result in the BPo-series. Lars van der Haar (Development Team Giant-Shimano) wasn’t present in Loenhout but he’s still fifth overall at 11:16 from Van Aert.

The next round of the BPo-series is held on New Year’s Day in Nys’ hometown Baal, Belgium.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace1:04:02
2Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:37
3Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:01
4Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:17
5Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace
6Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:20
7Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:24
8Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink0:02:25
9Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace0:02:36
10Vincent Baestaens (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:01
11Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace0:03:04
12Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - Kwadro0:03:11
13Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:21
14Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel)0:03:41
15Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:49
16Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Veranclassic - Doltcini0:04:31
17Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:04:37
18Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon - Kwadro0:04:44
19Twan Van Den Brand (Ned)0:04:58
20Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel)0:05:01
21Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - Kwadro0:05:17
22Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:05:19
23Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg CT0:05:56
24Flavien Dassonville (Fra) BigMat - Auber 930:05:59
25Mariusz Gil (Pol)0:07:03
26Michael Boros (Cze)0:07:04
27Kevin Cant (Bel) Corendon - Kwadro0:08:01
28Clément Lhotellerie (Fra)0:08:23
29Michal Malík (Cze)
30Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned)
31Niels Koyen (Bel)
32Ismael Felix Barba Frutos (Spa)
33Emil Hekele (Cze)
34Kenneth Hansen (Den)
35Fabian Obrist (Swi)
36Angus Edmond (NZl)
37Yannick Mayer (Ger)
38Garry Millburn (Aus)
39Miguel Fillaut (Fra)
40Mark Mcconnell (Can)
41Christophe Cavazzana (Fra)
42Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)
43Robert Wardell (GBr)
44Paul Redenbach (Aus)
45Asier Urdaibai (Spa)
46Arnau Rota (Spa)
47Mario Matijevic (Bel)

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