Van der Poel doubles up in Diegem

World champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon) won a thrilling edition of the night cross in Diegem, Belgium on Sunday. The 20 year-old Dutch rider beat a strong Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and European champion Lars van der Haar (Team Giant-Alpecin) in the sprint. Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) remains Superprestige leader despite breaking his derailleur late in the race and finishing tenth in the sixth round of the cyclo-cross series. For Van der Poel it was the second win of the weekend after prevailing at the World Cup round in Heusden-Zolder on Saturday.

“It was the goal to be good during the week of Christmas. The only thing that I need to work on is to pull through after an acceleration. Now they’re always coming back,” Van der Poel told Telenet Play Sports.

Van der Poel's rivals will hope that he doesn’t get better, because his many accelerations are causing a lot of damage in the field. On Sunday, only Pauwels and Van der Haar were able to survive the scrimmages until the finish. In addition to his accelerations, Van der Poel also displayed his technical skills that put him a level above the rest.

During the opening lap he showed off with a BMX-style jump on the flyover, but in the final lap, a braking manoeuvre against Pauwels put him in front before the last crucial technical section.

“That was on the limit, but I had to be in front there. It showed when I got stuck in the mud afterwards. If I hadn't been in front, I would never have gotten the victory. That brake manoeuvre wouldn’t have been possible without disc brakes. Otherwise I would’ve landed in the fencing,” Van der Poel said.

The three leaders featured in front straight from the first lap. Van der Poel punched away straight from the start, but as the pace often dropped in front, multiple riders managed to bridge back up. Halfway through the race no fewer than 13 riders were back together, including Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) who dropped his chain in the first lap and got stuck in traffic.

“Too bad I lose so much ground in the first lap. I didn’t get much support in the chase. I had good legs today. Maybe I would be able to battle for the win or the podium,” Nys said.

Another acceleration from Van der Poel in the fifth lap was the one that finally broke the race apart. Pauwels impressively bridged up in the same lap while Van der Haar and Van Aert trailed the duo by nearly ten seconds. Just before reaching the paved road to the finish, Van Aert broke his derailleur, forcing him to complete a very long run to the pit. Suddenly he was 1:20 down on the leaders and just outside the Superprestige points.

“It’s partly my mistake. I should’ve switched bikes earlier, but I was on my limit and then you tend to skip the pit more often. There were many small rocks in that mud section and they were sticking to the derailleur pullies; then the chain gets stuck. It’s too bad to lose out on the points this way,” Van Aert told Telenet Play Sports.

Both Van der Haar and Meeusen bridged up with the two strongest riders. Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) briefly led the race during the second lap and managed to stay in touch with the big guns until the final lap. However, Meeusen lacked that extra edge to follow the big moves and eventually he blew while trying to stay on Van der Poel's wheel on the final lap.

Pauwels was out-braked by Van der Poel for the lead position just before the key part of the course, and then could not get back to the front.

“I didn’t expect him to brake that late. I should’ve kept going with Mathieu. Then I could have started the sprint at least in second position and would have had a chance. I don’t think I’ve ever been as good as this weekend,” Pauwels said.

Van der Haar gambled in the final mud section, trying to sneak in between the inside of the corner and Van der Poel, but he was forced to hop off his bike. “I saw a gap but sadly enough it didn’t work out,” Van der Haar said. Van der Poel survived everything and reached the asphalt first, leaving the others no chance to catch him before the finish line.

Van Aert's bonus of nine points in the Superprestige standings over Nys is suddenly is down to three points on Pauwels and five on Nys. The two final rounds are held in February after the 2016 Heusden-Zolder World Championships.


Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon0:59:06
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games Cycling TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant - Alpecin0:00:03
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:00:25
5Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate-Murprotec0:00:28
6Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan AA Drink Team0:00:33
7Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:44
8Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Corendon0:00:45
10Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice Golden Palace0:00:50
11Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Era Real Estate-Murprotec0:00:53
12Tim Merlier (Bel) Vastgoedservice Golden Palace0:00:55
13Michael Boros (Cze) BKCP-Corendon0:01:02
14Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis Solutions Credits0:01:09
15Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:01:14
16Diether Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate-Murprotec0:01:33
17Radomir Simunek (Cze) Era Real Estate-Murprotec0:01:54
18Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:02:04
19Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice Golden Palace0:02:09
20Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:02:22
21Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:02:26
22Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Steve Chainel (Fra) Cross Team By G40:02:44
24Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kuota Lotto0:03:16
25Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice Golden Palace0:03:27
26David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon0:03:28
27Sascha Weber (Ger)0:04:02
28Kevin Cant (Bel) Era Real Estate-Murprotec0:04:05
29Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan AA Drink TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Vincent Baestaens (Bel) BKCP-Corendon0:04:18
31Severin Saegesser (Swi) Schmid Velosport/ Rc Granichen0:04:50
32Ismael Esteban Aguando (Spa) Maestre Bikes0:05:09
33Dave De Cleyn (Bel) Cycling Team Zemst VZW0:05:34
34Michael Van Den Ham (Can)0:05:49
35Travis Livermon (USA)0:06:34
36Jeremy Martin (Can) Louis GarneauRow 35 - Cell 2
37Garry Millburn (Aus) Trek SRAM Champion SystemRow 36 - Cell 2
38Niels Koyen (Bel) Bike Experience Cycling TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Aaron Schooler (Can) Focus CX TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Fabian Orbits (Swi) VeloplusRow 39 - Cell 2
41Martin Eriksson (Swe) Cykloteket Racing TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Ulrich Theobald (Ger) Gunsha KMC TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Robert Marion (USA) American ClassicRow 42 - Cell 2
44Edwin De Wit (Bel) Kon. W.C. De Rupelspurters BoomRow 43 - Cell 2
45Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita) Cx Selle SMP Dama FocusRow 44 - Cell 2
46Nicolas Samparisi (Ita) Cx Selle SMP Dama FocusRow 45 - Cell 2
47Christophe Cavazzana (Fra) EsseynodRow 46 - Cell 2
48Mark Mcconnell (Can)Row 47 - Cell 2
49Gilles Tesserre (Fra) EsseynodRow 48 - Cell 2
50Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) Kalas-NoffRow 49 - Cell 2
51Daniel Ania Gonzales (Spa) Nesta - MMRRow 50 - Cell 2
52Shinya Ikemoto (Jpn) FrietenRow 51 - Cell 2
53Shintarou Nakama (Jpn) FrietenRow 52 - Cell 2
54Raoul Poortvliet (Ned) ZRTC Theo MiddelkampRow 53 - Cell 2
55Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto - SoudalRow 54 - Cell 2
56Florent Ligney (Fra) Lyon Sprint EvolutionRow 55 - Cell 2
DNFYu Takenouchi (Jpn) Veranclassic-EkoiRow 56 - Cell 2
DNFBoy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
DNSJosep Betalu (Spa) Progress Arpo ProteamRow 58 - Cell 2
DNSAngus Edmond (NZl) Malteni/NinerRow 59 - Cell 2
DNSJens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice Golden PalaceRow 60 - Cell 2


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