The first edition of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Valkenburg at the famous Cauberg turned out to be the ideal setting for young, local rider Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) to grab his first big pro win. The 22-year-old Dutchman finished solo ahead of Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus). World champion Sven Nys and French champion Francis Mourey were forced out of the race with mechanicals. Last year's World Cup winner Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) had an off-day and didn't make it into the top-10 in Valkenburg.
"This is one of the most special wins in my life. It's my first big pro win and it's also a World Cup win and also in Holland," Van der Haar said.
There was a minute of silence in memory of Amy Dombroski before the start of the race.
The demanding course at the Cauberg included multiple, steep run-ups and drops. The tricky course was made even more selective as it started raining as the race got underway. Pauwels managed the hole shot while Albert and Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) got off to poor starts.
No rider seemed to be able to make the difference until Nys crashed while leading the pack. Nys needed some time to recover and lost some positions.
Upon hitting the third lap, Van der Haar accelerated and blew Mourey and others off his wheel. Only Pauwels could react. By the end of the third lap, Pauwels bridged up to Van der Haar. The first chasers trailed the leading duo by more than 10 seconds and once Vantornout played the perfect teammate in that chase group, the gap grew up to more than 20 seconds.
Walsleben rode alone into third place during the fifth lap while Nys had a flat front tyre. In front, Pauwels ran into bad luck, too, as his chain dropped. Pauwels needed time to get going again, and the Belgian was caught by Walsleben.
Meanwhile, more rain came down on the riders. With four laps to go, Van der Haar led the race with 23 seconds on Pauwels and Walsleben. Vantornout was alone in fourth at half a minute with Nys a little further back in a group that also included Albert.
During the sixth lap, Pauwels lost even more ground on both Van der Haar and Walsleben. He was caught by Vantornout and an improving Nys. A little further back, Mourey abandoned with a broken rear derailleur.
During the following lap, Nys lost time and positions again with another flat tyre - about half a minute. Pauwels dropped Vantornout and rode at short distance from Walsleben. The latter faded a little and was overtaken by Pauwels during the penultimate lap.
In the meantime, Nys fought his way back into eighth place with a fifth place still possible. His chain decided differently during the final lap. Game over for Nys.
"It wasn't my lucky day," said Nys. "I lost a lot of energy during the second flat tyre. My chain broke when I went full gas at the bottom of the drop. It's part of the sport, and it'll result in other perspectives."
Meanwhile Van der Haar easily kept Pauwels at distance, grabbing a well-deserved win on home soil. The Dutchman received a quick kiss from girlfriend Lucy Garner before taking on the white jersey of leader in the World Cup on the podium. Van der Haar was flanked by Pauwels and a surprising Walsleben.
In six days, the riders will contest the second round of the World Cup in Tabor, Czech Republic.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||1:02:45|
|2||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:20|
|3||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus||0:00:39|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:48|
|5||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:01:00|
|6||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:01:09|
|7||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:01:20|
|8||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti||0:01:31|
|9||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:01:39|
|10||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||0:01:53|
|11||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:01:57|
|12||Fabien Canal (Fra) ASPTT Definitive Tec||0:02:01|
|13||Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||0:02:07|
|14||Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hirumet Taldea||0:02:13|
|15||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:02:22|
|16||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro - Stannah||0:02:27|
|17||Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||0:02:29|
|18||Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team|
|19||Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles||0:02:40|
|20||Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:03:03|
|21||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro - Stannah||0:03:07|
|22||Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica||0:03:22|
|23||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team||0:03:41|
|24||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:03:46|
|25||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus||0:03:50|
|26||Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor||0:04:00|
|27||Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito||0:04:04|
|28||Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott Swisspower Mtb Racing Team||0:04:17|
|29||Andreas Moser (Swi) Zaunteam Mittelland||0:04:31|
|30||Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji - Spy - Competitive Cyclist||0:04:49|
|-1lap||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team|
|-1lap||Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Losch|
|-1lap||Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea|
|-2laps||Lukas Winterberg (Swi) MG - Cycling Team|
|-2laps||Kenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale - Haderslev|
|-2laps||Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa) Lizarte|
|-2laps||Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) Johnson Controls As Ml. Bol.|
|-2laps||Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Kalas Merida|
|-2laps||Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls As Ml. Bol.|
|-3laps||Joachim Parbo (Den) Hammel CK|
|-3laps||Marco Bianco (Ita) Carraro Team Trentino|
|-3laps||Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer - Caravanos Erandio|
|-3laps||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Colba - Superano Ham|
|-3laps||Jon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer - Caravanos Erandio|
|-4laps||Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team Baier Landshut|
|-4laps||Angus Edmond (NZl)|
|-5laps||Christoph Ambroziak (Ger) Gunsha Racing Team|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||80||pts|
|2||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||70|
|3||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus||65|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||60|
|5||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||55|
|6||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||50|
|7||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||48|
|8||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti||46|
|9||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||44|
|10||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||42|
|11||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||40|
|12||Fabien Canal (Fra) ASPTT Definitive Tec||39|
|13||Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||38|
|14||Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hirumet Taldea||37|
|15||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||36|
|16||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro - Stannah||35|
|17||Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||34|
|18||Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team||33|
|19||Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles||32|
|20||Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||31|
|21||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro - Stannah||30|
|22||Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica||29|
|23||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team||28|
|24||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||27|
|25||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus||26|
|26||Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor||25|
|27||Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito||24|
|28||Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott Swisspower Mtb Racing Team||23|
|29||Andreas Moser (Swi) Zaunteam Mittelland||22|
|30||Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji - Spy - Competitive Cyclist||21|
|31||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||20|
|32||Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Losch||19|
|33||Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea||18|
|34||Lukas Winterberg (Swi) MG - Cycling Team||17|
|35||Kenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale - Haderslev||16|
|36||Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa) Lizarte||15|
|37||Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) Johnson Controls As Ml. Bol.||14|
|38||Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Kalas Merida||13|
|39||Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls As Ml. Bol.||12|
|40||Joachim Parbo (Den) Hammel CK||11|
|41||Marco Bianco (Ita) Carraro Team Trentino||10|
|42||Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer - Caravanos Erandio||9|
|43||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Colba - Superano Ham||8|
|44||Jon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer - Caravanos Erandio||7|
|45||Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team Baier Landshut||6|
|46||Angus Edmond (NZl)||5|
|47||Christoph Ambroziak (Ger) Gunsha Racing Team||4|
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