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Van Aert storms to victory in Superprestige Boom

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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma celebrates at finish line as race winner during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) wins his first 'cross race of the season at the Superprestige Boom (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma celebrates at finish line as race winner during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma celebrates at finish line as race winner during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) wins his first 'cross race of the season at the Superprestige Boom (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma falls on a muddy sector during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert slides out on the descent on the second to last lap (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma falls on a muddy sector during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Van Aert rides the bike down (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma falls on a muddy sector during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Van Aert gets up from his crash (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma falls on a muddy sector during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) crashes on the muddy descent (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Belgian Wout Van Aert pictured in action during the mens elite race of the Superprestige Boom fifth stage of the Superprestige cyclocross cycling competition in BoomBELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) runs (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma competes during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) on the pavement on the early laps (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 LR Quinten Hermans of Belgium and TormansCircus Cyclo Cross Team and Toon Aerts of Belgium and Team Baloise Trek Lions compete on a muddy sector during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 LR Pim Ronhaar of The Netherlands and Team Baloise Trek Lions and Quinten Hermans of Belgium and TormansCircus Cyclo Cross Team during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

The race together in the first lap (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma competes during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

The Superprestige in Boom (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Thomas Pidcock of The United Kingdom and Team Trinity Racing competes on a muddy sector during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Tom Pidcock making his 'cross season debut (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma competes on a muddy sector during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma competes on a muddy sector during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) splashes through the mud (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma competes on a muddy sector during the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 LR Toon Aerts of Belgium and Team Baloise Trek Lions on second place race winner Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma and Lars Van Der Haar of The Netherlands and Team Baloise Trek Lions on third place pose on the podium ceremony after the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Toon Aerts, Wout van Aert and Lars van der Haar on the podium in Boom (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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BOOM BELGIUM DECEMBER 04 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma celebrates at podium as race winner after the 7th Superprestige Cyclocross Boom 2021 Mens Elite SPBoom Superprestige2022 on December 04 2021 in Boom Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) made an extraordinary return to cyclo-cross on Saturday, winning the Superprestige Boom by nearly two minutes.

The three-time world champion had played down expectations as he came back from his off-season after a successful campaign on the road but obliterated a field that had been in the flow of competition since October.

There was a minor wobble as the Belgian crashed into the thick mud on a descent on the penultimate lap but, despite having to run his bike to the pits, the incident did almost nothing to sway the complexion of a one-sided affair.

Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek), who had a rollercoaster afternoon, bounced back from crashes of his own to finish alone in second place, 1:42 behind Van Aert.

Lars van der Haar trailed in six seconds later to claim the final podium spot.

Eli Iserbyt, Pim Ronhaar, and Michael Vanthourenhout were the next best from a chase group that chopped and changed behind the constant presence of Van Aert out front, while Tom Pidcock finished seventh on his own rollercoaster return to ‘cross.

Having not racing his bike since Paris-Roubaix at the start of October, Van Aert had also been ill in the week before the race but showed no sign of being off the pace on a demanding Boom course that was full of sloppy mud and required plenty of time on foot.

He kept a watchful eye on a cagey opening lap but decided to stamp his authority on the second of the seven, moving to the front before storming up one of the steep muddy slopes. He was the only one who managed to ride it without dismounting and the writing was on the wall. Aerts managed to claw his way back on initially but made mistakes uphill and downhill, leaving Van Aert alone, where he would remain for the rest of the race.

By the end of the second lap, Van Aert was 15 seconds clear of Iserbyt, and by the end of the third lap he had already stormed out to 51 seconds. 

Pidcock, who last raced at the World Championships road race at the end of September, started a little slowly but tried to force the issue in the chase on lap four. His risk-taking, however, saw him crash twice in quick succession, and he fell out of podium contention. 

On lap five, Pidcock was trailing what was a seven-man group that had formed behind Van Aert, although it did start to stretch out towards the end of the lap. Aerts crashed on the downhill muddy section that claimed the most victims, falling well back, while Vanthourenhout and Haar moved to the fore, followed closely by Iserbyt and Van Kessel. Aerts, however, recovered remarkably from his crash and set about clawing his way back into contention.  

Van Aert suffered his only real wobble on the penultimate lap, losing control on that same downhill section, with his bike swinging into the barriers before he came crashing down. Despite taking a while to remount and subsequently proceeding to the pits on foot, he went on to complete the lap having only lost around 10 seconds, his lead still commanding at 1:52. 

There were no mistakes on the final lap and the real battle was for the podium positions. Vanthourenhout had forged clear towards the end of the previous lap, but Aerts was on the charge. He first caught and passed Van der Haar before doing the same to a fading Vanthourenhout.

The Belgian may not have been able to think about getting close to Van Aert but he did move level with Iserbyt at the top of the overall Superprestige series standings. Having won the opener but watched Iserbyt win the following three rounds, he moves level on 82 points.

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:56:29
2Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:01:40
3Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions 0:01:48
4Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:01:52
5Pim Ronhaar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions 0:01:54
6Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:02:01
7Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:13
8Mees Hendrikx (Ned) IKO - Crelan 0:02:16
9Thijs Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:02:22
10Corne van Kessel (Ned) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team 0:02:27
11Jens Adams (Bel) 0:02:42
12Ben Turner (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:02:59
13Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team 0:03:08
14Joran Wyseure (Bel) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team 0:03:10
15Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:03:28
16Witse Meeussen (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:03:31
17Lennert Belmans (Bel) IKO - Crelan 0:03:33
18Emiel Verstrynge (Bel) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team 0:03:41
19Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:03:52
20Thibau Nys (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:04:28
21Thomas Mein (GBr) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team 0:04:40
22Gerben Kuypers (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT 0:04:46
23Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:04:51
24Jarno Bellens (Bel) 0:04:59
25Anton Ferdinande (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:05:11
26Toby Barnes (GBr) Schamel p/b Kloster Kitchen 0:05:29
27Sander De Vet (Bel) 0:05:35
28David van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix 0:05:43
29Jente Michels (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix 0:05:50
30Tibor Del Grosso (Ned) 0:06:10
31Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:06:16
32Stan Godrie (Ned) 0:06:20
33Antoine Huby (Fra) Cross Team Legendre 0:06:29
34Seppe Rombouts (Bel)
35Danny Van Lierop (Ned)
36Pascal Tömke (Ger) Schamel p/b Kloster Kitchen 0:06:41
37Joost Brinkman (Ned) 0:06:42
38Arne Vrachten (Bel) 0:06:49
39David Menut (Fra) Cross Team Legendre 0:07:00
40Ward Huybs (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:07:16
41Arne Baers (Bel)
42Ugo Ananie (Fra) Cross Team Legendre
43Victor Van De Putte (Bel)
44Floris Van Tricht (Bel)
45Jens Clynhens (Bel)
46Lukas Vanderlinden (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal
47Clement Horny (Bel)
48Nick Peers (Bel)
49Lucas Janssen (Ned)
50Koen Van Dijke (Ned)
51Dolf Pemen (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT
52Florian Hamm (Ger) Schamel p/b Kloster Kitchen
53Lukas Herrmann (Ger) Schamel p/b Kloster Kitchen
54Senne D´Hollander (Bel)
55Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel)
56Rémi Lelandais (Fra) Cross Team Legendre
57Alex Colman (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
58Senna Van Cutsem (Bel)
59Mathis Avondts (Bel) IKO - Crelan
60Salvador Alvarado (Ned)
61Robbe Mellaerts (Bel)
62Jannik Harig (Ger)
63Pieter Pauwels (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal
64Rune Ceusters (Bel)
65Maarten Clauwaert (Bel)
66Cameron Jette (Can)
67Gianni Quintelier (Bel)
68Andy Ruts (Bel)
69Gauthier Heymes (Fra)
DNFNiels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix
DNFTom Meeusen (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes
DNFThéo Thomas (Fra) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team
DNFSteve Chainel (Fra) Cross Team Legendre
DNFDiether Sweeck (Bel) IKO - Crelan
DNFLen Dejonghe (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes
DNFMathijs Wuyts (Bel)
DNFMathis De Roeck (Bel)
DNFRobin Alderweireld (Bel)
DNSHugo Kars (Ned)
DNSLuca Harter (Ger)
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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.


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