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Van der Poel returns to domination in Superprestige Ruddervoorde men's race

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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Tom Pidcock

Tom Pidcock
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Toon Aerts

Toon Aerts
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Tim Merlier

Tim Merlier
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mathieu van der Poel at the start

Mathieu van der Poel at the start
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Eli Iserbyt

Eli Iserbyt
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel rides away from Laurens Sweeck
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Laurens Sweeck

Laurens Sweeck
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Tom Pidcock

Tom Pidcock
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Toon Aerts

Toon Aerts
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Tom Pidcock

Tom Pidcock
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) returned to domination in his first cyclo-cross race of the 2019-2020 season.

The world champion took half the race to find his way to the front, but when he did he proved unassailable.

Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen–Bingoal) took the lead on the opening lap, trading blows with Van der Poel in the slippery, muddy conditions.

Tom Pidcock fought his way through the field after a slow start and briefly made the front of the race before slipping away in a turn.

In a brief lull in the race, Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen–Bingoal) put in a blistering attack that put Iserbyt out of the leading group.

Van der Poel came back to the Belgian and, though Sweeck would hold on for a lap he eventually had to let go of the Dutchman's wheel.

The world champion sailed away, eventually gaining over 20 seconds on Sweeck to take the win. Belgian champion Toon Aerts taking third at 36 seconds.

"It was difficult and very technical," Van der Poel said according to Het Nieuwsblad. "I was constantly looking for the 'cross sensation and I didn't really find it. I didn't have the impression that it was fast."

"So I rode my own pace, sometimes even leaving a gap. It was good enough but there is still work to do. This result is the confirmation that I have trained well. From now on it can only get better. Of course I was fine. If you are not good, you will not win a 'cross race. And yes, I really enjoyed it. "

Although the much anticipated duel with Iserbyt never really materialised, Van der Poel recognized that the other riders endured a very difficult race in Oudenaarde on Friday. 

"They rode the Koppenberg on Friday, that may have been in their legs. It does not alter the fact that [Iserbyt] has performed strongly in recent weeks."

Sweeck defended his teammate, too. "Eli is not a machine. He had a bad day, just like I had a bad day on Friday. I tried to make it difficult for Mathieu, but at a certain point he was able to change gears and I couldn't. I kept the gap fairly small but it is technically so good. The difference? Mathieu wins his 28th race in the Superprestige, and I do not have one yet. We start with the thought of winning and that will not be any different in the coming races. But the reality is there is only so much you can do and you have to dare to face that."

Sweeck now shares the lead in the Superprestige series with Toon Aerts, third in Ruddervoorde. "It was a difficult 'cross with many riders who stayed close to each other. There was not enough punch to ride away, but on such a technical course one good lap is enough to close a gap. Mathieu and Laurens went above and beyond."

Aerts had a rought start to the race but rode himself into it to take a satisfying podium spot. "It was not the easiest week for me, but I can enjoy this third place, more than a second place in recent weeks."

Results

Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus 1:03:56
2Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:00:23
3Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:00:36
4Tim Merlier (Bel) Creafin – Fristads 0:00:44
5Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:01:38
6Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:01:49
7Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:06
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon - Circus 0:02:26
9Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:02:32
10Diether Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:02:51
11Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:03:01
12Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Creafin – Fristads 0:03:25
13Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - Circus 0:03:32
14Antoine Benoist (Fra) Corendon - Circus 0:03:54
15Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:04:14
16Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
17Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) 0:05:10
18Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:05:19
19Ben Turner (GBr) Creafin – Fristads 0:05:35
20Stan Godrie (Ned) 0:05:45
21Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:05:55
22Michael Boroš (Cze) 0:05:57
23Thomas Mein (GBr) Tarteletto - Isorex 0:06:09
24Jarno Bellens (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal 0:06:18
25Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:06:26
26Robin Alderweireld (Bel) 0:07:12
27Cameron Mason (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:07:48
28Gerben Kuypers (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
29Anton Ferdinande (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
30Jelle Camps (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
31Joran Wyseure (Bel)
32Andreas Goeman (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions
33Arno Debeir (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
34Arne Vrachten (Bel)
35Bart Artz (Ned)
36David Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon - Circus
37Kyle Agterberg (Ned)
38Victor Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
39Pim Ronhaar (Ned)
40Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel)
41Arno Van Den Broeck (Bel)
42Kenny Roelandt (Bel)
43Mathieu Willemyns (Bel)
44Dario Tielen (Bel)
45Yelle Leaerts (Bel)
46Klaas Groenen (Ned)
47Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)
48Thymen Arensman (Ned)
49Andrew Juiliano (USA)
50Jenko Bonne (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
51Pete Uptegrove (Ned)
52Cedric Vandesompel (Bel)
53Noah Vreeswijk (Ned)
54Maarten Clauwaert (Bel)
55Joe Williams (GBr)
56Edwin De Wit (Bel)
57Kelvin Bakx (Ned)
58Jonatan Östlund (Swe)
59Alekss Krasts (Lat)
60Gianni Quintelier (Bel)
61Tyler Cloutier (USA)
62James Swadling (GBr)
63Max Judelson (USA)
64Lukas Mörtsell Rörfors (Swe)
65Ryan Middlemiss (GBr)
DNFJens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel) Group Hens - Maes Containers
DNFTimo Kielich (Bel) Creafin – Fristads
DNFElias Nilsson (Swe)
DNFCallum Macleod (GBr)
DNFTyla Loftus (GBr)
DNFPieter-Jan Vliegen (Bel)

Standings

Superprestige standings after four races
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamPoints
1Toon Aerts (Bel) 45
2Laurens Sweeck (Bel) 45
3Quinten Hermans (Bel) 43
4Corné van Kessel (Ned) 43
5Lars van der Haar (Ned) 42
6Eli Iserbyt (Bel) 41
7Thomas Pidcock (GBr) 38
8Jens Adams (Bel) 25
9Tim Merlier (Bel) 23
10Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) 21
11Tom Meeusen (Bel) 17
12Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) 16
13Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) 15
14Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) 14
15Daan Soete (Bel) 14
16Marcel Meisen (GEr) 14
17Diether Sweeck (Bel) 6
18Thijs Aerts (Bel) 4
19Yentl Bekaert (Bel) 4
20Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) 4
21Ben Turner (GBr) 2
22Antoine Benoist (Fra) 2
23Timo Kielich (Bel) 1
24Yannick Peeters (Bel) 1

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