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Mathieu van der Poel dominates in Essen

OTEGEM BELGIUM JANUARY 13 Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands and AlpecinFenix Team during the 52nd Internationale Betafence CX Otegem 2020 Men Elite UCICX Otegem on January 13 2020 in Otegem Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) continued to dominate the cyclo-cross season, winning the muddy Ethias Cross race in northern Belgium with a controlled ride in the mud.

The world champion rode a paced race for much of the nine flat laps and then opened the gas in the final 15 minutes after a tactical bike change. He then gradually distanced Quinten Hermans (Tormans) and never looked back, going on to win by 10 seconds after easing up during the final lap. It was his third victory of the season. 

Tom Pidcock (Trinity Racing) was again close to Van der Poel’s level but a spill and a suspected puncture cost him vital seconds. He fought with Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) in the final laps but managed to hang on to third place at 18 seconds. 

Van der Poel revealed that a mid-race tyre pressure change was vital. He reportedly eased his pressure by a tenth of a bar to 1.3. 

"Early on I made a lot of mistakes. My tires were a bit too hard. When I changed bikes it went a lot smoother," he explained post-race.

"I tried to win as comfortably as possible, because I have a busy program ahead of me. I liked the course here because I could use my bike skills. After the tough crosses in Gavere and Namur, that was welcome."

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 1:02:43
2Quinten Hermans (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:00:11
3Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:00:18
4Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:00:23
5Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:01:13
6Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Teika-BH-Gsport 0:01:23
7Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:01:58
8Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:17
9Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:47
10Ben Turner (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:02:49
11Loris Rouiller (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix 0:02:51
12Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:02:55
13Lander Loockx (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 0:02:56
14Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:59
15Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:03:10
16Stan Godrie (Ned) 0:03:34
17Ward Huybs (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:03:49
18Curtis White (USA) 0:03:58
19Seppe Rombouts (Bel) 0:04:05
20Tom Meeusen (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers 0:04:12
21Mathieu Morichon (Fra) 0:04:35
22Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel) 0:04:42
23Mickaël Crispin (Fra) Cross Team Legendre 0:04:48
24Arne Vrachten (Bel) 0:04:56
25Thibau Nys (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:05:02
26Kyle Agterberg (Ned) 0:05:05
27Michael van den Ham (Can) 0:05:11
28Joris Delbove (Fra) Team S1neo-Graal-Bjorka 0:05:12
29Ugo Ananie (Fra) Cross Team Legendre 0:05:20
30Mario Junquera San Millan (Spa) 0:05:21
31Witse Meeussen (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:05:23
32Tom Mainguenaud (Fra) 0:05:25
33Len Dejonghe (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers
34Arthur Tropardy (Fra)
35Arne Baers (Bel)
36Valentin Guillaud (Fra)
37Joachim van Looveren (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT
38Dolf Pemen (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT
39Cyprien Gilles (Fra)
40Julian Siemons (Bel)
41Noé Castille (Fra) Cross Team Legendre
42Klaas Groenen (Ned)
43Jens Gys (Bel)
44Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Circus-Wanty Gobert
45Ronan Auffret (Fra) Team Podiocom CC
46Robin Alderweireld (Bel)
47Yves Coolen (Bel)
48Antoine Huby (Fra) Cross Team Legendre
49Thomas Gachignard (Fra) Team Podiocom CC
50Koen van Dijke (Ned)
51Timothé Gabriel (Fra)
52Lilian Schneider (Fra) Cross Team Legendre
53Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain McLaren
54Hugo Thirotel (Fra)
55Vincent Oger (Bel)
DNFDavid van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFSascha Weber (Ger)
DNFTimo Kielich (Bel) Credishop-Fristads
DNFYdris Salomez (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT
DNFJustin Laevens (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT

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