Van der Poel wins with another lonely solo in Gavere

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) won the third round of the Superprestige Trophy in Gavere, leading from the gun after attacking on the opening lap. Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) took second place, 24 seconds back, while Wout van Aert (Cibel-Cebon) was third at 36 seconds.

From the very start of the race Van der Poel was up front. The Dutchman attacked hard and early, with Aerts the only man able to keep up. The early show of strength from the duo would foreshadow the final result, while Van Aert took some time to separate himself from the chase group.

The remainder of the race was marked by two battles – one between Van der Poel and Aerts, and later on between Van Aert and Aerts. The Telenet man lost the first but won the second to seal the second step of the podium behind a dominant Van der Poel, while Van Aert would have to console himself with third.

Further back, the new U23 European champion Tom Pidcock (TP Racing) took fourth place. It’s his best finish in series, which this year combined the U23 and senior races. Last season the Brit triumphed here in the U23 race.

How it happened

Mathieu van der Poel led things out from the start, almost immediately going on the offensive, with only Aerts able to follow the pace set by the European champion. Further back, Van Aert and Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) formed a chase group.

At the end of the first lap, the gap back to the Van Aert-Sweeck duo was already 16 seconds. It was too much for Van Aert, who went on the attack to leave Sweeck behind on lap two. The Belgian began to slowly but surely close the gap to the leaders, while Van der Poel nipped up the inside of Aerts on a downhill section to launch again and lead solo.

By the end of lap three, Van der Poel was 12 seconds up on Aerts, while Van Aert had shaved a few seconds off his deficit to the Telenet man, lying 11 seconds back. Already it looked like the lead trio would be on the final podium in some configuration, with Sweeck and a large chase group, including Pidcock and Eli Iserbyt (Marlux-Bingoal), out of the picture at over a minute down.

Van Aert continued to close in on Aerts at the midpoint of the race, but up front Van der Poel was only extending his lead. He was 35 seconds up on the duo at the end of lap four. A minute further back, Pidcock and Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea Lions) had separated from the chase group, but would need a huge slice of luck to get on the podium.

With Van Aert slipping and falling on lap six, Aerts sensed an opportunity to push the pace, eventually succeeding in getting a gap on the world champion. In the closing laps he pulled away to confirm his second place, and closing in on Van der Poel. Heading into the final lap, Aerts had closed from 40 seconds down to 27, but the late charge wouldn’t be enough to challenge Van der Poel.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus1:04:52
2Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:24
3Wout Van Aert (Bel) Cibel-Cebon0:00:35
4Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Tp Racing0:01:40
5Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:50
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus0:02:18
7Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:31
8Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:02:53
9Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts - 7770:03:34
10Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:03:50
11Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:04:11
12Michael Boroš (Cze) Creafin Tüv Sud0:04:14
13Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles0:04:44
14Gioele Bertolini (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite0:04:48
15Diether Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:04:52
16Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:04:57
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:05:04
18Adam Ťoupalík (Cze) Steylaerts - 7770:05:11
19Daniel Tulett (GBr) TP Racing0:05:14
20Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan - Charles0:05:33
21Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Jakob Dorigoni (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite0:05:47
23Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:05:58
24Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux - BingoalRow 23 - Cell 2
25Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - VastgoedserviceRow 24 - Cell 2
26Ben Turner (GBr) Corendon - CircusRow 25 - Cell 2
27Arno Debeir (Bel) Marlux - BingoalRow 26 - Cell 2
28Loris Rouiller (Swi)Row 27 - Cell 2
29Niels Derveaux (Bel) Tarteletto - IsorexRow 28 - Cell 2
30Tomas Kopecky (Cze) Pauwels Sauzen - VastgoedserviceRow 29 - Cell 2
31Berne Vankeirsbilck (Bel)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Ryan Kamp (Ned)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Jenko Bonne (Bel) Tarteletto - IsorexRow 32 - Cell 2
34Mees Hendrikx (Ned)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Timo Kielich (Bel) Steylaerts - 777Row 34 - Cell 2
36Seppe Rombouts (Bel) Creafin Tüv SudRow 35 - Cell 2
37Thomas Mein (GBr)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Cameron Mason (GBr)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Tarteletto - IsorexRow 38 - Cell 2
40David Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - CircusRow 39 - Cell 2
41Tim Van Dijke (Ned)Row 40 - Cell 2
42Thymen Arensman (Ned)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Mick Van Dijke (Ned)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Jens Clynhens (Bel)Row 43 - Cell 2
45Joe Williams (GBr)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Edwin De Wit (Bel)Row 45 - Cell 2
47Tetsuki Kaji (Jpn)Row 46 - Cell 2
DNFLaurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - VastgoedserviceRow 47 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - BingoalRow 48 - Cell 2
DNFWietse Bosmans (Bel) Steylaerts - 777Row 49 - Cell 2
DNFYannick Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - VastgoedserviceRow 50 - Cell 2

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