Elite Men: Niel
Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) won the second round of the DVV Trofee at Niel, attacking from an elite group three laps before the finish to take his eighth win of the season. Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) took second place, ten seconds back, while Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) rounded off the podium, 36 seconds down.
Initially going it alone on the second lap, van der Poel was caught by Aerts, Sweeck, and Aerts' teammate Lars van der Haar midway through the race. Both Sweeck and the Telenet men put on the pressure at various points, with van der Poel even hitting the deck at one point, but it was the Dutchman who would prevail, attacking for what turned out to be the final time later on.
How it happened
A fairly calm opening lap saw newly-recrowned European champion van der Poel take to the front of the field. At the end of the lap it was Thomas Pidcock (TP Racing) who kicked the action off, going on the attack and taking Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea Lions) with him.
Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) led the pursuit, and indeed led for much of the second lap as van der Poel tracked him down. After two laps, an elite front group had emerged, with the duo joined by Toon Aerts, Corne Van Kessel (both Telenet Fidea Lions), Pidcock, van der Haar, and Toon Aerts. Vanthourenhout and Van Kessel collided soon after though, losing their place in the group with van der Poel pushing on afterwards.
Ploughing through the sand section, the Dutchman extended his gap, with Aerts and Sweeck leading the chase eight seconds down and a group including Pidcock and van der Haar a further five back.
Sweeck set off in lone pursuit on the fourth lap, catching up to van der Poel towards the end of the lap. Aerts and van der Haar also made the catch heading into lap five. The quartet enjoyed a 22-second advantage over a large chasing group.
In the thick mud, van der Poel slid out trying to ride downhill where others were running. He didn't lose contact with his companions though, with the lead group sticking close together despite Aerts' best efforts to put on the pressure.
The Telenet duo dropped back as Sweeck pushed on, with a seven-second gap separating them and the leaders at the start of lap seven. It wasn't long until van der Poel pushed on, quickly getting a gap on Sweeck as Aerts rode across to the lone chaser.
From then on it was plain sailing for van der Poel as his advantage extended to 15 seconds over Aerts, who had passed Sweeck for second place. That would be the finishing order, after just over an hour of racing.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus||1:01:06|
|2||Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:10|
|3||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:00:36|
|4||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:45|
|5||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - Circus||0:01:18|
|6||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)||0:01:21|
|7||Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice|
|8||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:22|
|9||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus|
|10||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:28|
|11||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Steylaerts - 777||0:01:38|
|12||Michael Boroš (Cze) Creafin Tüv Sud||0:01:49|
|13||Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Tp Racing||0:01:58|
|14||Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles||0:02:06|
|15||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:02:11|
|16||Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:46|
|17||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:02:50|
|18||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:03:29|
|19||Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:04:06|
|20||Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan - Charles||0:04:24|
|21||Adam Ťoupalík (Cze) Steylaerts - 777||0:04:47|
|22||Thomas Joseph (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:05:06|
|23||Senne De Meyer (Bel)|
|24||Yelle Leaerts (Bel)|
|25||Kelvin Bakx (Ned)|
|26||Edwin De Wit (Bel)|
|27||Pieter Meelberghs (Bel)|
|DNF||Vincent Baestaens (Bel)|
|DNF||Sieben Wouters (Ned) Creafin Tüv Sud|
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