Van der Poel solos to victory in Middelkerke

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) soloed to victory in the final round of the Superprestige Trophy in Middelkerke. Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles) finished second, 18 seconds down, after a race-long battle with Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) who ceded the sprint and took third at 18 seconds.

With his main rival Wout Van Aert ending his season last weekend, van der Poel needed only to finish in the points to secure his third Superprestige title. His sixth win in eight rounds of the series ensured he did just that.

Hanging back at the start, van der Poel rode around eight places back for much of the first lap as Vanthourenhout and Merlier took up the reigns at the front.

By lap two a clear lead group had emerged, consisting of Vanthourenhout, Merlier, van der Poel and his brother David (Corendon-Circus). Vanthourenhout tried a move, but on the next lap van der Poel was away, simply riding off the front as he has so many times before.

Aside from a minor spill on lap four, that was the race for van der Poel. Out on his own he didn't have to push to widen a gap, instead holding it at around 25 seconds for much of the race.

Meanwhile back in the chase group, Vanthourenhout and Merlier had left David van der Poel behind. With van der Poel 20 seconds up the road and the next group 20 seconds further back it was clear that the duo would compete for the remaining podium spots.

There were mistakes from each man in the closing laps - Merlier lost control on the final corner of lap six, while Vanthourenhout slipped in the thick mud towards the end of lap seven - but the pair couldn't be separated.

Not until the home straight, at least. Merlier opened it up while Vanthourenhout gave a token effort, happy to take a podium place. After win number 29 of the season, van der Poel was already waiting for his trophy.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus1:00:17
2Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles0:00:15
3Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:00:19
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus0:00:34
5Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:39
6Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era-Circus0:00:48
7Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:00
8David van der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus0:01:13
9Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:01:23
10Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:40
11Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:01:59
12Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Era-Circus0:02:13
13Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:02:36
14Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:40
15Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst0:02:43
16Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:49
17Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Ginestar - Delikia0:03:05
18Daan Soete (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:03:35
19Marcel Meisen (Ger) Steylaerts - Betfirst0:03:52
20Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:04:01
21Rob Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - VastgoedserviceRow 20 - Cell 2
22Joeri Adams (Bel)Row 21 - Cell 2
23Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan - Charles0:04:20
24Michael Boroš (Cze) Pauwels Sauzen - VastgoedserviceRow 23 - Cell 2
25Gioele Bertolini (Ita)0:04:57
26Braam Merlier (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst0:05:13
27Ismael Esteban Aguero (Spa) Ginestar - Delikia0:05:30
28Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)0:05:50
29Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned)0:05:58
30Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst0:06:01
31Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex0:06:07
32Jonas Degroote (Bel)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Hendrik Sweeck (Bel)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Dario Tielen (Bel)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel) Tarteletto - IsorexRow 34 - Cell 2
36Tobin Ortenblad (USA)Row 35 - Cell 2
37Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Gosse Van Der Meer (Ned)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Niels Koyen (Bel)Row 38 - Cell 2
40Edwin De Wit (Bel)Row 39 - Cell 2
41Eric Thompson (USA)Row 40 - Cell 2
42Jelle De Bock (Bel)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Tyler Cloutier (USA)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Vincent Oger (Bel)Row 43 - Cell 2
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel)Row 44 - Cell 2

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Daniel Ostanek
Production editor

Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.


Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.


As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.

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