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Toon Aerts ends Mathieu van der Poel's winning streak at Hotondcross

Toon Aerts (Telenet-Baloise Lions)
Toon Aerts (Telenet-Baloise Lions) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Toon Aerts (Telenet-Baloise Lions) won the DVV Verzekeringen trofee Hotondcross in Ronse on Saturday. The Belgian champion soloed to the finish 1:30 ahead of runner-up Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and 2:14 ahead of third placed Mathieu Van Der Poel (Corendon - Circus).

Aerts denied Van der Poel his 36th consecutive cyclo-cross victory. Van der Poel's winning streak began at the Koppenbergcross in 2018, according to a report in Wielerflits

Van der Poel has won nine races in this season, so far, that begun in November with victories at Telenet Superprestige Ruddervoorde, UEC Cyclo-cross European Championships, Jaarmarktcross, Tabor World Cup, DVV Verzekeringen trofee Flandriencross, Ambiancecross, Koksijde World Cup, and DVV Verzekeringen trofee Kortrijk. He also won Lampiris Zilvermeercross in December.

The world champion had just returned to cyclo-cross racing in Ronse after spending a week training in Spain.

The Hotondcross race started with the formation of a lead group of five that included Aerts, Iserbyt, van der Poel, Marcel Meisen (Corendon - Circus) and Corné van Kessel (Telenet Baloise Lions), with Tim Merlier (Creafin-Fristads) trailing the leaders.

Aerts distanced himself from the front group in the opening laps. He built a lead of 30 seconds over chasers van der Poel and Iserbyt by the start of the fifth lap. 

Showing top form and technical skill through the mud, Aerts' lead grew to over a minute as he entered the final lap. 

Iserbyt managed to catch and pass van der Poel to finish in second place, while the world champion appeared to struggle to finish in third at over two minutes back. 

Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal) finished four seconds behind Van der Poel in fourth place.

Iserbyt remains in the lead of the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee series at 1:45 ahead of Aerts. Van der Poel is currently in first place in the UCI rankings.

Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:55:54
2Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:01:30
3Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus 0:02:14
4Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:02:18
5Tim Merlier (Bel) Creafin-Fristads 0:02:28
6Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:32
7Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - Circus 0:03:06
8Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:03:16
9Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:04:14
10Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:04:38
11Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:04:52
12Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Creafin – Fristads 0:06:04
13Yannick Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:06:37
14Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus 0:06:55
15Lander Loockx (Bel) Group Hens - Maes Containers 0:07:24
16Sieben Wouters (Ned) Creafin – Fristads 0:07:31
17Robin Alderweireld (Bel)
18Koen Van Dijke (Ned)
19Edwin De Wit (Bel)
20Mathieu Willemyns (Bel)
21Yoni De Bock (Bel)
22Max Judelson (USA)
23Dario Tielen (Bel)
24Ylber Sefa (Alb)
25Vincent Oger (Bel)
26Kailin Waterman (USA)
DNFJens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
DNFDieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
DNFJelle De Bock (Bel)
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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