Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) continued his unbeaten streak for the 2021-2022 cyclo-cross season, putting in a devastating attack on the first lap and extending his lead on every subsequent lap to win Telenet Superprestige Heusden-Zolder. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) sprinted to second ahead of Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen Bingoal).
After starting the 'cross season winning at the Superprestige in Boom in early December, Van Aert won again at the Ethias Cross in Essen and the next day at the World Cup in Val di Sole before taking a break to attend his road team camp.
He came back at Dendermonde where he rode away from World Champion Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and again at the F1 track in Heusden-Zolder, he showed that his power is a level above the rest.
Van Aert started on the second row, having accumulated fewer points due to his abbreviated schedule.
Daan Soete (Deschacht-Group Hens) claimed the hole shot but Van Aert slotted onto his wheel before the bunch even left the pavement. Van der Poel, on the third row, had more work to do along with Pidcock, to get to the front.
At the end of the first lap, the race was already beginning to break up, with Van Aert applying pressure. Quinten Hermans (Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team) latched onto the Belgian champion's wheel along with Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions) and Corne van Kessel (Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team) and soon Pidcock and Iserbyt scrambled across.
There was a gap of a few seconds to Van der Poel's group but he had Niels Vandeputte to help close the gap at the end of lap 1.
On the second lap, Van Aert put in a testing acceleration, taking Aerts and Hermans along while Soete opened a gap and his group merged with Van der Poel's with Pidcock in no man's land in between the two.
By the end of lap two, Van Aert's brutal pace proved too much for his companions, leaving Aerts and Hermans to be caught by the world champion's group of eight riders.
Van der Poel, Pidcock, Iserbyt, Hermans, Van Kessel, Aerts, Kevin Kuhn and Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen Bingoal) were chasing together on lap three until Van der Poel bobbled. Pidcock took up the chase, opening a gap along with Iserbyt at 30 seconds to the leader heading into lap four.
The world champion seemed to pull the plug halfway through the race, riding behind the chasers in ninth and not closing down the gap, perhaps not wanting to stress his legs as he continues to come back from a gash to his knee.
Pidcock led the chase heading into lap five with Iserbyt and Hermans the only companions remaining and a gap of 41 seconds to the Belgian champion.
On lap six, Van Aert lost traction with his front wheel and went down hard but got back up to continue leading with just under a minute on the chasing trio.
Van der Poel dropped out of the race after six laps, as Pidcock and Iserbyt left Hermans behind.
Iserbyt led into the finish a minute down on Van Aert but Pidcock timed his sprint perfectly to snatch second place.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma||1:03:36|
|2||Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers||0:01:04|
|3||Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal|
|4||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:01:21|
|5||Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions||0:01:45|
|6||Corne van Kessel (Ned) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:01:57|
|7||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:02:04|
|8||Kevin Kuhn (Swi) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:02:09|
|9||Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix||0:02:15|
|10||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions|
|11||Tom Meeusen (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes||0:02:18|
|12||Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:02:27|
|13||Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:02:32|
|14||Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix||0:02:40|
|15||Jens Adams (Bel)||0:03:02|
|16||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix||0:03:29|
|17||Gioele Bertolini (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite||0:03:32|
|18||Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Burgos-BH||0:03:47|
|19||Diether Sweeck (Bel) IKO - Crelan||0:03:57|
|20||Thijs Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions|
|21||Thomas Mein (GBr) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:04:12|
|22||Jakob Dorigoni (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite||0:04:18|
|23||Tony Periou (Fra) Team S1 Neo Loudeac||0:04:24|
|24||Michael Boroš (Cze)||0:04:33|
|25||Tibor Del Grosso (Ned)||0:04:52|
|26||Thibau Nys (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions||0:05:04|
|27||Anton Ferdinande (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:05:12|
|28||Gage Hecht (USA)||0:05:18|
|29||Martin Groslambert (Fra) Team S1 Neo Loudeac||0:05:27|
|30||Sander De Vet (Bel)||0:05:30|
|31||Kerry Werner (USA)||0:05:36|
|32||Clement Horny (Bel)||0:05:44|
|33||David van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix||0:07:00|
|34||Victor Van De Putte (Bel)|
|35||Corran Carrick-Anderson (GBr)|
|36||Ben Chilton (GBr) Team Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus|
|37||Matěj Stránský (Cze)|
|38||Seppe Rombouts (Bel)|
|39||Rory Mcguire (GBr)|
|40||Andrew Strohmeyer (USA)|
|41||Sandy Dujardin (Fra)|
|42||Ward Huybs (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions|
|43||Mario Junquera San Millan (Spa) Unicaja Banco - Gijon|
|44||Arne Vrachten (Bel)|
|45||Cyprien Gilles (Fra) Team Fima - Cyrpeo Alian|
|46||Lucas Janssen (Ned)|
|47||Samuel Gaze (NZl)|
|48||Julian Siemons (Bel)|
|49||Arne Baers (Bel)|
|50||Wout Vervoort (Bel)|
|51||Jens Gys (Bel)|
|52||Mathijs Wuyts (Bel)|
|53||Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious|
|54||Mathieu Morichon (Fra) Team Royalbikeshop.Com|
|55||Matt Leliveld (Can)|
|56||Caleb Swartz (USA)|
|57||Lorenzo Marasco (Fra) Sebmotobikes CX Team|
|58||Valentin Guillaud (Fra) Team Guevel Immobilier Laval Cyclisme 53|
|59||Théo Thomas (Fra) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team|
|60||Michael Van Den Ham (Can)|
|61||Valentin Humbert (Fra) Team S1 Neo Loudeac|
|62||Joost Brinkman (Ned)|
|63||Koen Van Dijke (Ned)|
|64||Lukas Herrmann (Ger) Schamel p/b Kloster Kitchen|
|65||Scott Funston (USA)|
|66||Tristan Verrier (Fra) Team Guevel Immobilier Laval Cyclisme 53|
|67||Pascal Tömke (Ger) Schamel p/b Kloster Kitchen|
|68||Gabriel Bolgiani (Fra) Team S1 Neo Loudeac|
|69||Nathan Bommenel (Fra) A.S. Bike Crossteam|
|70||Dries Van Gestel (Bel) TotalEnergies|
|71||Tommy Servetas (USA)|
|72||Sam Noel (USA)|
|73||Daniel Barnes (GBr) Team Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus|
|74||Raito Suzuki (Jpn) Team S1 Neo Loudeac|
|75||Raphaël Kockelmann (Lux)|
|76||Hugo Brisebois (Can)|
|77||Kyle Johnson (USA)|
|78||Finnegan O'Connor (USA)|
|79||Ondřej Zelený (Cze)|
|80||Nathan Knowles (USA)|
|81||Celestin Guillon (Fra)|
|82||Salvador Alvarado (Ned)|
|83||Andrew Giniat (USA)|
|84||Cameron Jette (Can)|
|85||Julien Kaise (Bel)|
|86||Nicholas Lando (USA)|
|87||Ryder Uetrecht (USA)|
|88||Rory Jack (USA)|
|89||Tyler Cloutier (USA)|
|90||Aitor Garmendia Etxeberria (Spa)|
|91||Dennis Brouwer (Ned)|
|92||Bas Van Der Burg (Ned)|
|93||Dries Bruynseels (Svk)|
|94||Frederick Junge (USA)|
|95||Gauthier Heymes (Fra)|
|DNF||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix|
|DNF||Daan Soete (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes|
|DNF||Mees Hendrikx (Ned) IKO - Crelan|
|DNF||Lander Loockx (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes|
|DNF||Ben Turner (GBr) Trinity Racing|
|DNF||Toby Barnes (GBr) Schamel p/b Kloster Kitchen|
|DNF||Len Dejonghe (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes|
|DNF||Danny Van Lierop (Ned)|
|DNF||Nicholas Tabares (USA)|
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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.
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