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Mathieu van der Poel wins Cyclocross Gullegem

Dutch Mathieu Van Der Poel celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the mens elite race of the Gullegem Cyclocross cycling event in Gullegem on January 2 2021 Photo by DAVID STOCKMAN BELGA AFP Belgium OUT Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGAAFP via Getty Images
Mathieu van der Poel celebrates his seventh win of season (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) scored his seventh win in 10 starts this season, and fourth consecutive win in a week, powering through a faulty start and the heavy mud at Cyclocross Gullegem on Saturday.

As expected, the race provided an early battle between Van der Poel and Briton Tom Pidcock (Trinity Racing), as the wheels of Wout van Aert, Laurens Sweeck, Michael Vanthourenhout and Toon Aerts would take the day off to target Sunday’s World Cup race in Hulst.

Early on the first lap, Van der Poel slid in an off-camber turn and had to chase the lead group, which included Diether Sweeck (Credishop-fristads), Jens Adams and Pidcock. Sweeck and Adams controlled the pace for the first two laps, until Van der Poel powered back to the front with Pidcock in tow.

Midway into the nine-lap contest, the Van der Poel-Pidcock duo had opened a small gap to all chasers, which saw Gianni Vermeersch (Credishop-fristads) in the mix. With three laps to go, the World Champion began to pull away from Pidcock and make it an uncontested solo win at the line, 45 seconds ahead of the Briton.

On the final lap, Adams and Vermeersch would go head to head for the final podium spot, the sprint by the two Belgians taken by four seconds by Adams. It was an unexpected third place for Adams, who returned to racing at Gullegem after being sidelined for more than two weeks with a viral infection. 

“It was still quite a technical cross because the grass on the track had come off. I did have a nice afternoon despite the fact that I made some sliders. I didn't immediately find a good grip on the course, but that improved after a few bicycle changes," Mathieu van der Poel said to Belgian's HLN after the win. 

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix 1:00:35
2Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:00:45
3Jens Adams (Bel) 0:00:53
4Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Credishop-fristads 0:00:57
5Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Teika-bh-gsport 0:01:27
6Diether Sweeck (Bel) Credishop-fristads 0:01:45
7Joran Wyseure (Bel) 0:01:51
8Emiel Verstrynge (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:02:03
9Thibau Nys (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:02:17
10Jim Aernouts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:02:23
11Arne Vrachten (Bel) 0:02:54
12Gianni Siebens (Bel) 0:03:25
13Kevin Suarez Fernandez (Spa) Nesta - Skoda Alecar cx Team 0:03:34
14Julian Siemons (Bel) 0:03:39
15Stan Godrie (Ned) 0:03:43
16Kyle Agterberg (Ned) 0:03:45
17Witse Meeussen (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:03:48
18Arno Van den Broeck (Bel) 0:04:27
19Joachim Van Looveren (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct
20Len Dejonghe (Bel) Group Hens - Maes Containers 0:04:50
21Koen Van Dijke (Ned) 0:04:57
22Arthur Tropardy (Fra) 0:05:07
23Klaas Groenen (Ned) 0:05:17
24Thibaut De Smet (Bel) 0:05:24
25Dolf Pemen (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct 0:05:49
26Wout Vervoort (Bel) 0:05:58
27Lennert Belmans (Bel) Iko - Crelan 0:06:13
28Thomas Verheyen (Bel) 0:06:34
29Mario Junquera san Millan (Spa) 0:08:45
30Nicolas De Smet (Bel) 1 lap
31David Conroy (Irl) 2 laps
32Ydris Salomez (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct2 laps
33Elio Clarysse (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct2 laps
34Justin Laevens (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct3 laps
35Jonathan Anderson (USA) 3 laps
36Andrew Giniat (USA) 3 laps
DNFIvan Feijoo Alberte (Spa) Nesta - Skoda Alecar cx Team
DNFRobin Alderweireld (Bel)
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