Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) won yet again in Diegem, maintaining his 100 per cent record in the Superprestige series after a long solo ride and a mid-race crash.
Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) took second place 14 seconds back, while 39 seconds down Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) rounded off the podium, coming in ahead of teammate Lars van der Haar.
The victory, which saw Van der Poel recover from a crash with a marshal at the midpoint of the race, marks the end of a dominant 2018 festive season for the Dutchman. It’s his fourth in eight days, having taken victories in the World Cup at Namur and Zolder, and in the DVV Trofee at Azencross.
It took a while for the action to really get going on the rainy, floodlit course in Diegem, with Van der Poel and Van Aert getting caught further back in the peloton at the start. Instead, the pack was fairly compact in the opening stages, with a large group up front, including three Telenet Fidea Lions men.
Vanthourenhout was the first to make a move, going on the offensive towards the end of lap one and fracturing the group for good. Van der Poel threw his glasses away as he accelerated to the wheel in the sandpit, making it a leading duo.
Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) emerged in a solo third place, while Wout Van Aert (Cibel-Cebon) remained some way out of the reckoning, albeit making his way steadily through the pack.
The race’s major incident came just as Van der Poel was starting to gap Vanthourenhout. A marshal who was stood on the course just before a right-hand bend failed to move out of the way in time, with van der Poel unable to avoid a collision.
The Dutchman came up clutching his neck, but quickly remounted and set off in pursuit of the new leader Vanthourenhout. It wasn’t long before he was back up front, and soon after he was off – accelerating away en route to another victory, his 20th of the season.
Further back, Van Aert had made his way up to the Telenet duo of Aerts and Van der Haar, with Vanthourenhout surely his next victim. That move didn’t come though, with Van Aert unable to separate himself from his companions.
Aerts eventually made the podium-clinching move, getting away on a grass section late on. He would ride solo to third place, while Van der Haar got the better of Van Aert, who settled for a distant fifth place to end the year.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus||1:03:56|
|2||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:00:14|
|3||Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:39|
|4||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:43|
|5||Wout Van Aert (Bel)||0:00:56|
|6||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:01:05|
|7||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:12|
|8||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)||0:01:22|
|9||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:01:29|
|10||Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:01:34|
|11||David Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus||0:01:49|
|12||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts - 777||0:01:53|
|13||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus||0:02:39|
|14||Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:51|
|15||Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:02:55|
|16||Michael Boroš (Cze) Creafin Tüv Sud||0:02:57|
|17||Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan - Charles||0:03:01|
|18||Sieben Wouters (Ned) Creafin Tüv Sud||0:03:05|
|19||Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Tp Racing||0:03:11|
|20||Gioele Bertolini (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite||0:03:20|
|21||Zdeněk Štybar (Cze)||0:03:25|
|22||Ben Turner (GBr) Corendon - Circus||0:03:37|
|23||Vincent Baestaens (Bel)||0:03:48|
|24||Stephen Hyde (USA)|
|25||Ryan Kamp (Ned)||0:03:49|
|26||Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:04:21|
|27||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal||0:04:24|
|28||Diether Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:04:41|
|29||Loris Rouiller (Swi)||0:05:13|
|30||Tomas Kopecký (Cze) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:05:19|
|31||Gage Hecht (USA)||0:05:40|
|32||Thymen Arensman (Ned)||0:05:47|
|33||Jakob Dorigoni (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite||0:06:53|
|34||Bart Artz (Ned)|
|35||Curtis White (USA)|
|36||Michael Van Den Ham (Can) Garneau-Easton P/B Transitions Lifecare|
|37||Severin Sägesser (Swi)|
|38||Daniel Tulett (GBr) Tp Racing|
|39||Gunnar Holmgren (Can)|
|40||Mario Junquera San Millan (Spa)|
|41||Erno Jacob Mccrae (Bel)|
|42||Garry Millburn (Aus)|
|43||Matthias Van Roy (Bel)|
|44||Nicholas Smith (Aus)|
|45||Max Judelson (USA)|
|46||Cameron Mason (GBr)|
|47||Balázs Vas (Hun)|
|48||Senne De Meyer (Bel)|
|49||Tomas Misser Vilaseca (Spa)|
|50||Edwin De Wit (Bel)|
|51||Tyler Orschel (Can)|
|52||Nicholas Diniz (Can)|
|53||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)|
|54||Cameron Jette (Can)|
|55||Jonatan Östlund (Swe)|
|56||Tyler Cloutier (USA)|
|57||Philipp Heigl (Aut)|
|58||Yelle Leaerts (Bel)|
|59||Finlay Robertson (GBr)|
|60||James Edmond (GBr)|
|61||Filip Stark (Swe)|
|62||Peter Olejniczak (USA)|
|63||Josh Bauer (USA)|
|64||Declan Prosser (Aus)|
|65||Matthew Lister (GBr)|
|66||Ryan Middlemiss (GBr)|
|67||Marvin Runhaar (Ned)|
|DNF||Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles|
|DNF||Yorben Van Tichelt (Bel)|
|DNF||Tyla Loftus (GBr)|
|DNS||Tom Martin (GBr)|
|DNS||Toby Perry (GBr)|
Latest on Cyclingnews
'Still the intention' for Bjarne Riis to take part-ownership of NTT teamDeal with current owner Doug Ryder still pending for Danish general manager
How to watch ESPN 30 for 30 Armstrong documentary LANCEParts 1 and 2 now available in most parts of the world on ESPN Player, and on Kayo in Australia
Sibiu Cycling Tour postponed until late JulyRomanian stage race was set to be first UCI race after coronavirus shutdown
Grégory Baugé on racism in pro cycling: You suffer aloneOlympic medallist says 'everyone is frustrated'