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Van der Poel cruises to victory in Ethias Cross Bredene

ZOLDER BELGIUM DECEMBER 26 Arrival Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands and Team AlpecinFenix Celebration during the 16th HeusdenZolder World Cup 2020 Men Elite CX SPHeusdenZolder SuperprestigeCX Cyclocross on December 26 2020 in Zolder Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

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.

Brief Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:59:03
2Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:01:01
3Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:01:42
4Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Credishop-Fristads 0:01:48
5Tom Meeusen (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 0:01:59
6Diether Sweeck (Bel) Credishop-Fristads 0:02:05
7Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:11
8Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:02:23
9Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:32
10Anton Ferdinande (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:02:43
11Curtis White (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld
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