Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) put his rainbow jersey on display with another solo victory, this time at the Ethias Cross in Bredene, where he rode away from Toon Aerts (Telenet-Baloise) midway through the race to win with relative ease.
Aerts held on for second, having lost contact on lap five after puncturing, while Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) came in a distant third over Gianni Vermeersch.
Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) got the hole shot after a quick start off the front row, but it was a short lived time in the lead as Van der Poel, Gianni Vermeersch (Credishop-Fristads), Aerts and Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) came to the fore.
By the end of the third lap, Vanthourenhout was left behind by the leading trio after sliding out in one of the many slippery off-camber rises, while Vermeersch lost touch on the next lap, leaving Aerts and Van der Poel in the lead.
A puncture for Aerts gave Van der Poel all the gap he needed to cruise to victory after the halfway point.
Aerts held on for the runner-up spot over Vanthourenhout, whose brother Diether was racing in his final 'cross event before retirement.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix||0:59:03|
|2||Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:01:01|
|3||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:01:42|
|4||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Credishop-Fristads||0:01:48|
|5||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers||0:01:59|
|6||Diether Sweeck (Bel) Credishop-Fristads||0:02:05|
|7||Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:02:11|
|8||Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix||0:02:23|
|9||Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:02:32|
|10||Anton Ferdinande (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:02:43|
|11||Curtis White (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld|
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