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Van der Poel solos to victory in Niel

Mathieu van der Poel wins

Mathieu van der Poel wins (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

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.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus1:01:06
2Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:10
3Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:00:36
4Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:45
5Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - Circus0:01:18
6Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)0:01:21
7Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice
8Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:22
9Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus
10Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:28
11Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Steylaerts - 7770:01:38
12Michael Boroš (Cze) Creafin Tüv Sud0:01:49
13Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Tp Racing0:01:58
14Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles0:02:06
15Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:02:11
16Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:46
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:02:50
18Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:03:29
19Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:04:06
20Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan - Charles0:04:24
21Adam Ťoupalík (Cze) Steylaerts - 7770:04:47
22Thomas Joseph (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:05:06
23Senne De Meyer (Bel)
24Yelle Leaerts (Bel)
25Kelvin Bakx (Ned)
26Edwin De Wit (Bel)
27Pieter Meelberghs (Bel)
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel)
DNFSieben Wouters (Ned) Creafin Tüv Sud
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Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content on Cyclingnews and takes on live race text coverage throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Tro-Bro Léon, Strade Bianche, and the Vuelta a España.

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