Mathieu van der Poel (Corenden-Circus) continued his stranglehold in the Telenet Superprestige series, taking his second straight win in this year's competition with an assured victory in Boom. Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea Lions) took second place from the chase group behind with Gianni Vermeersch making it onto the final step of the podium for Steylaerts-777.
Van der Poel had pushed clear of a select group of five riders halfway through the nine-lap race and held a slim advantage over the chaser, eventually winning by just four seconds.
"I went a bit earlier than expected, I did not want to ride around with a big group, because something can always happen in the sand," Van der Poel told Sporza. "It's a very difficult circuit here in Boom and it's hard to make the difference, I had to ride fast to keep up the gap because the rest were fighting for the podium, so I did not have a lot of moments to rest."
The second round of the Superprestige began under sunny skies in Boom, just south of Antwerp. Van der Poel was the pre-race favourite after his win the week before in Gieten, particularly given the absence of last year’s Boom winner Wout van Aert. The world champion decided to give the Boom race a miss as he focuses his attention on Sunday’s World Cup round in Bern. Mechanical issues meant that Kevin Pauwels was also absent from the start line.
It was a fast start to the race with the Telenet-Fidea Lions pushing a hard pace on the front. Few could keep touch and it wasn’t long before the leading group had been reduced to just five riders. Telenet-Fidea Lions had two in Aerts and Quinten Hermans while Corenden-Circus had Van der Poel. Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) and Vermeersch rounded out the group.
It was midway around lap four that Van der Poel decided to make his move as the course pitched upwards on a steep incline. Rather than a stinging attack from the Dutchman it was a gradual increase in pace that the others couldn’t keep up with.
Not long after Van der Poel's attack, Sweeck saw his opportunity at success slip away when his seatpost came clean off over a series of jumps. Thankfully, he was not too far away from the pits as he would have to make his way back with no saddle. Sweeck would manage to keep a top 10 position, but he would never see the front again.
Meanwhile, Aerts and Hermans worked together to try and keep Van der Poel in check with Vermeersch holding onto the back of the group of three. His teammate played it cautious after crashing in last year’s race, but edged out his lead little by little as the laps went on.
With two laps to go, the lead was just 15 seconds as Hermans and Aerts continued to pull the chase along. The former appeared to be tiring as his teammate gave him some vocal encouragement to urge him along. It became very apparent that the younger of the two was fading as he was distanced on the penultimate lap of nine.
That was not before Vermeersch took a tumble in the sand after catching his foot in the sandpit and tumbling off his bike. As the Corenden-Circus rider dug deep to make up lost ground, Aerts took the opportunity to try and pull out a gap. Vermeersch would make it back but the drive in pace would spell the end of Hermans’ podium chances.
Up front, Van der Poel continued to plough a lonely furrow. The two remaining chasers would take a big chunk out of his small lead but he still had enough to celebrate as he crossed the line and puts him in a confident mood ahead of the third round of the World Cup.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus||0:56:50|
|2||Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:04|
|3||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts - 777||0:00:08|
|4||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:19|
|5||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice||0:00:29|
|6||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:33|
|7||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal Cycling Team||0:00:43|
|8||David Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus||0:00:51|
|9||Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice||0:00:56|
|10||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus||0:01:02|
|11||Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice||0:01:27|
|12||Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles||0:01:39|
|13||Michael Boroš (Cze) Creafin - Tuv Sud||0:01:46|
|14||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Development Team Sunweb||0:01:56|
|15||Gioele Bertolini (Ita) Guerciotti||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Mike Thielemans||0:01:57|
|17||Adam Toupalik (Cze) Steylaerts - 777||0:02:00|
|18||Timo Kielich (Bel) Steylaerts - 777||0:02:06|
|19||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal Cycling Team||0:02:13|
|20||Sieben Wouters (Ned) Creafin - Tuv Sud||0:02:29|
|21||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Steylaerts - 777||0:02:50|
|22||Ben Turner (GBr)||0:02:54|
|23||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal Cycling Team||0:03:03|
|24||Andreas Goeman (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:03:10|
|25||Thomas Mein (GBr) Hope Factory Racing||0:03:18|
|26||Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan - Charles||0:03:24|
|27||Arno Debeir (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal Cycling Team||0:03:32|
|28||Tomas Kopecky (Cze) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservi||0:04:08|
|29||Niels Derveaux (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex||0:04:19|
|30||Victor Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice||0:04:37|
|31||Yannick Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice||0:04:47|
|32||Daniel Tulett (GBr) Specialized Racing||0:05:05|
|33||Kelvin Bakx (Ned) Mijnbadlivgiant Offroad Team||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Cameron Mason (GBr) Endura - Pedal Power||0:05:18|
|35||Xander Geysels (Bel) Wielerclub Steeds Vooraan V.||0:05:28|
|36||Bart Artz (Ned) Zzpr.Nl-Hanclean-Orange Babies||0:06:12|
|37||Dolf Pemen (Bel) Milwaukee - Alphamotorhomes||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|38||Sander Elen (Bel) Vanomobil Mtb Cycling Team||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Matthias Van Roy (Bel) Milwaukee - Alphamotorhomes||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Edwin De Wit (Bel) Reno Systems Cycling Team||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Toyoframe||Row 40 - Cell 2|
|42||Grzegorz Grabarek (Pol) Ks 64-Sto Leszno||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|43||Jakob Dorigoni (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciom||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|44||Joe Williams (GBr) Asfra Racing Team||Row 43 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Diether Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Thomas Joseph (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal Cycling Team||Row 45 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Finlay Robertson (GBr) Derwentside Cc||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Thymen Arensman (Ned) Craft Ten Tusscher / Jvr De Ba||Row 47 - Cell 2|
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