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Mathieu Van der Poel wins Zolder World Cup

Mathieu Van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon) put on an impressive display of power to take out the victory in the Zolder round of the World Cup, on the same circuit where the Dutch rider will defend his rainbow jersey next month. Van der Poel topped Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin), with Klaas Vantornout out-sprinted for fourth by Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea). World Cup leader Wout Van Aert could only manage 8th on the day, but it was enough to hold onto his white jersey by 16 points from Van der Haar.

The dry and fast course in the Terlaemen township kept the race largely together for the first half of the race, but eventually Van der Haar and Van der Poel used their speed to create a gap. Pauwels fought his way to the leaders, making it three well-matched riders. The decisive moment came when Van der Haar was confronted with a flat tyre in the penultimate lap, and Van der Poel seized the moment.

“It was really hard to make a difference. It was just before the hardest part of the course with the running section and the uphill I saw that Lars had a flat tyre. I thought that it was the right moment to make the move because I had the feeling that Lars was the strongest, a bit stronger than me this day [sic]. It’s a race that really suits him,” Van der Poel said.

Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), Tim Merlier (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) and Clément Venturini (Cofidis) surged away at the end of the opening lap, but Van der Poel closed the gap on the three leaders on the second lap, using his superior climbing abilites. Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Lars van der Haar were the only riders who were able to keep up. World Cup leader Van Aert seemed to have an off day, and wasn’t close enough to the front to follow the move. Van Aert was also unable to follow Pauwels as he bridged up to the lead group on the thrid lap.

Pauwels dangled behind dual attacks from Van der Poel and Van der Haar, and for most of the fourth lap he chased solo, finally bridging up at the start of lap five of nine. Van der Poel sensed Pauwels' arrival, and knew he had to keep pushing. “I knew he rode his own pace," Van der Poel said of Pauwels. "What I predicted ahead of the race came true, that Kevin and Lars would be my biggest rivals on this course."

Just before hitting the penultimate lap Van der Poel accelerated on a steep run-up and the steep climb that followed. He gained a handful of seconds, but neither Van der Haar nor Pauwels cracked and both bridged back up when Van der Poel eased up. One lap later Van der Poel repeated his acceleration, but Van der Haar was unable to follow because of his puncture. Pauwels kept the pressure on the world champion, but was unable to bring him back before the line.

“I felt good but not super. I knew it would be hard in the final lap because Kevin was pushing on," Van der Poel said. "I had to dig deep again. I’m really confident now [...] The conditions can be very different in seven weeks. There can be snow as well. [...] I’m more confident now than if I would be tenth."

Tom Meeusen won the sprint for fourth place just ahead of Vantornout. Sixth-placed Venturini confirmed his strong result from last week’s Namur World Cup round. Merlier won the sprint for seventh place ahead of Van Aert, taking away two possibly crucial points from his teammate. Van der Haar closes in to 16 points from Van Aert in the World Cup standings.


Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon1:09:03
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:02
3Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant - Alpecin0:00:46
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:01:10
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:01:11
6Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:17
7Tim Merlier (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team0:01:20
8Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
9Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
10Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink0:01:21
11Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
12Michael Boros (Cze) BKCP-Corendon0:01:28
13Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate - Murprotec0:01:29
14Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:08
15Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:02:20
16Jeremy Powers (USA) Aspire0:02:24
17Vincent Baestaens (Bel) BKCP-Corendon0:02:25
18Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team
19Simon Zahner (Swi)
20Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:02:26
21Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Era Real Estate - Murprotec0:02:30
22Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:02:33
23Stephen Hyde (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld0:02:35
24Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team0:03:30
25Steve Chainel (Fra)0:03:41
26Ismael Esteban Aguando (Spa)0:03:49
27Sascha Weber (Ger) CCT p/b Champion System0:04:10
28Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Remerx-Merida Team Kolin0:04:20
29Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:04:29
30Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
31Ian Field (GBr)0:04:30
32Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:05:05
33Mariusz Gil (Pol)0:05:29
34Vojtech Nipl (Cze)0:05:38
35Severin Saegesser (Swi)0:05:40
36Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:05:56
37Travis Livermon (USA)0:06:01
38Ole Quast (Ger)0:06:11
39Aaron Schooler (Can)0:06:22
40Michael Van Den Ham (Can)0:06:38
41Vincent Dias Dos Santos (Lux)0:06:47
42Nicolas Samparisi (Ita)0:07:03
43Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team0:07:15
44Kenneth Hansen (Den)
45Jeremy Martin (Can)
46Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)
47Gusty Bausch (Lux)
48Michal Malik (Cze)
49Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita) Merida Italia Team
50Garry Millburn (Aus)
51Matej Lasak (Cze)
52Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Veranclassic - Ekoi
53Christian Helmig (Lux) Team Differdange - Losch
54Robert Marion (USA)
55Mark Mcconnell (Can)
56Ulrich Theobald (Ger)
57Johann Rigoulay (Fra)
58Yannick Mayer (Ger) Bike Aid
59Christophe Cavazzana (Fra)
60James Spragg (GBr) CCT p/b Champion System
61Daniel Ania Gonzalez (Spa)

World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team336pts
2Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant - Alpecin320
3Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink303
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team296
5Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon225
6Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate - Murprotec221
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team211
8Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Era Real Estate - Murprotec211
9Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team194
10Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team191
11Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team180
12Tim Merlier (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team171
13Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team167
14Michael Boros (Cze) BKCP-Corendon163
15Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team149
16Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team148
17Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits144
18Vincent Baestaens (Bel) BKCP-Corendon141
19Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team140
20Diether Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate - Murprotec138
21Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team130
22Simon Zahner (Swi)120
23Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team117
24Jeremy Powers (USA)115
25Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team115
26Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team114
27Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team105
28Marcel Meisen (Ger)104
29Ian Field (GBr)95
30Steve Chainel (Fra)89
31Radomir Simunek (Cze) Era Real Estate - Murprotec83
32Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Corendon69
33Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ67
34David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon66
35Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)65
36Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team56
37Stephen Hyde (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld56
38Sascha Weber (Ger) CCT p/b Champion System54
39Lukas Winterberg (Swi)45
40Martin Haring (Svk) Ck Banska Bystrica44
41Ryan Trebon (USA)39
42Severin Saegesser (Swi)39
43Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels35
44Adam Toupalik (Cze) BKCP-Corendon34
45Curtis White (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies31
46Fabien Doubey (Fra) FDJ29
47Adam Craig (USA)29
48Mariusz Gil (Pol)27
49Josep Betalu (Spa)27
50Ismael Esteban Aguando (Spa)24
51Travis Livermon (USA) Team Smartstop24
52Andreas Moser (Swi)24
53James Driscoll (USA)23
54Vojtech Nipl (Cze)22
55Jeremy Martin (Can)21
56Lubomir Petrus (Cze)21
57Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels19
58Daniel Summerhill (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team19
59Lukas Fluckiger (Swi)17
60Nicolas Samparisi (Ita)15
61Derek Zandstra (Can)15
62Matej Lasak (Cze)14
63Mark Mcconnell (Can)14
64John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team13
65Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)13
66Brian Matter (USA)13
67Alois Falenta (Fra)13
68Michael Van Den Ham (Can)13
69Michael Schweizer (Ger)11
70Kenneth Hansen (Den)11
71Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling11
72Allen Krughoff (USA)10
73Gusty Bausch (Lux)10
74Craig Richey (Can)9
75Ondrej Bambula (Cze)8
76Dan Timmerman (USA)8
77Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita) Merida Italia Team8
78Michal Malik (Cze)7
79Marco Bianco (Ita)7
80Kerry Werner (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies6
81Jack Clarkson (GBr)5
82Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Veranclassic - Ekoi5
83Garry Millburn (Aus)4
84Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels4
85Maximilian Holz (Ger)3
86Geoff Kabush (Can)3
87Michael Wildhaber (Swi)2
88Christopher Aitken (Aus)2
89Antonin Marecaille (Fra)1
90Robert Marion (USA)1
91Tobin Ortenblad (USA)1


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