Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) put on a master class to claim his fourth victory in a row in Heusden-Zolder on a fast, hard-packed course at the Circuit Terlamen.
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) suffered an early puncture but rode himself back into contention then left the rest of the chasers behind to claim second. Lars van der Haar (Telenet-Baloise) sprinted from the chase group for third.
“When you hear something like that, you shouldn't wait. I didn't want to let him get back into the race, I think that makes sense ”, Van der Poel said of Van Aert's misfortune.
“I tried to increase the pace and got a gap. Just then Iserbyt crashed, which is a shame for him, but that made the difference in one go quite big. That way I could set my own pace for the rest of the hour."
The race was much different than Van der Poel and Van Aert's last meeting at Herentals, fast and dry rather than thick and heavy with mud. Van der Poel got the hole shot while Van Aert rocketed up from a third row start to third wheel in the first few turns.
British champion Tom Pidcock (Trinity Racing) came to grief on a u-turn and had to go to the pit for a new bike, put at an immediate disadvantage at the back of the race.
Van Aert took the lead on the opening lap but then suffered a rear wheel puncture, trading bad luck with Van der Poel who lost the lead due to a flat in Herentals.
With Van Aert gone, and only Van der Haar, Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and his teammate Laurens Sweeck and Corne van Kessel and Daan Soete left in front, Van der Poel twisted the throttle and forged a gap on the second lap.
By the third lap, the world champion had enough of a gap that no one would come back.
Iserbyt, the leader of the Superprestige series, launched a furtive chase but crashed, suffering what appeared to be a broken elbow and was stretchered away.
The crash disrupting the chase, Van der Poel's gap went out over 30 seconds as Van Aert made his way back to the group with Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal).
Van Aert bided his time with the gap hovering just under a minute until the penultimate lap, when he attacked in pursuit of the podium with Vanthourenhout trying but failing to scramble across.
Pidcock, having chased the entire race from the last positions, rode his way into the top 10 in ninth.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix||1:02:07|
|2||Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma||0:00:38|
|3||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:00:39|
|4||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:00:44|
|5||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:00:48|
|6||Corne van Kessel (Ned) Circus-Wanty Gobert||0:00:51|
|7||Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:00:55|
|8||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix||0:00:59|
|9||Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing||0:01:01|
|10||Daan Soete (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers||0:01:08|
|11||Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:01:20|
|12||Timo Kielich (Bel) Credishop-Fristads||0:01:22|
|13||Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Teika-BH-Gsport||0:01:57|
|14||David van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix||0:02:15|
|15||Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix||0:02:23|
|16||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers||0:02:24|
|17||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team Sunweb||0:02:29|
|18||Joran Wyseure (Bel) Acrog-Tormans Balen BC||0:02:44|
|19||Thomas Mein (GBr) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team||0:02:48|
|20||Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:02:53|
|21||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert||0:03:07|
|22||Thibau Nys (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:03:12|
|23||Emiel Verstrynge (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team|
|24||Curtis White (USA) Cannondale-CyclocrossWorld||0:03:17|
|25||Diether Sweeck (Bel) Credishop-Fristads||0:03:20|
|26||Sean de Bie (Bel) Bingoal WB||0:03:24|
|27||Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:03:28|
|28||Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions|
|29||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:03:36|
|30||David Menut (Fra) Cross Team Legendre||0:03:49|
|31||Lander Loockx (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers||0:03:52|
|32||Steve Chainel (Fra) Cross Team Legendre||0:04:13|
|33||Sascha Weber (Ger) MTB Freiburg||0:04:26|
|34||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:04:29|
|35||Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex CX Team||0:04:31|
|36||Arne Baers (Bel)||0:04:33|
|37||Arno van den Broeck (Bel)||0:04:39|
|38||Mario Junquera San Millan (Spa)||0:04:40|
|39||Julian Siemons (Bel)||0:04:48|
|40||Loris Rouiller (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix||0:05:01|
|41||Ward Huybs (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:05:08|
|42||Tom Mainguenaud (Fra)||0:05:17|
|43||Mickaël Crispin (Fra) Cross Team Legendre||0:05:18|
|44||Michael Van den Ham (Can)||0:05:31|
|45||Len Dejonghe (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers||0:05:41|
|46||Stan Godrie (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg||0:05:47|
|47||Luke Verburg (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:05:50|
|48||Kyle Agterberg (Ned)||0:05:58|
|49||Thomas Verheyen (Bel)||0:06:23|
|50||Florian Richard Andrade (Fra) Cross Team Legendre|
|51||Jens Gys (Bel)|
|52||Arne Vrachten (Bel)|
|53||Yves Coolen (Bel)|
|54||Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|55||Lilian Schneider (Fra) Cross Team Legendre|
|56||Robin Alderweireld (Bel)|
|57||Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain McLaren|
|58||Vincent Oger (Bel)|
|DNF||Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal|
|DNF||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix|
|DNF||Jelle Camps (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal|
|DNF||Ben Turner (GBr) Trinity Racing|
|DNF||Gianni Siebens (Bel)|
|DNF||Ronan Auffret (Fra) Team Podiocom CC|
|DNF||Justin Laevens (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT|
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