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