Elite men: Hulst
The Dutchman went back-to-back this weekend after his Gullegem win, beating World Cup leader Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) into second place by 1:31. Tom Pidcock (Trinity Racing) rounded out the podium a further 18 second back after a hard battle with the Belgian.
"It's almost a home win," Van der Poel said after the race. "There are very few races in the Netherlands so it's super nice to have one here today. I enjoyed the race and had some really good legs today so that helps.
"If you see last week, I was almost three minutes behind Van Aert so I don't think it means anything [for the Worlds]. It's the shape of the day which determines the gaps a little bit. I felt really strong today and I'm glad I can finish my first block of races in this kind of shape."
Van der Poel had been in total command of the race since the second lap, where he powered away from the peloton with no answer from any of his rivals, including Van Aert, who was within eight seconds at the GP Sven Nys on New Year's Day and beat the Dutchman by 2:49 in the thick mud of Dendermonde at the previous World Cup round.
Van Aert suffered a mix-up in the pits on that second lap, his mechanic missing a bike change and costing the Belgian precious seconds, while Van der Poel and Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions) were out front.
By the end of the lap, Van der Poel was alone ahead of a chase group consisting of Van Aert, Aerts and Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), while Pidcock quickly joined them.
Vanthourenhout's teammate Eli Iserbyt, who was returning from an elbow injury suffered at the Boxing Day Superprestige race in Zolder, wasn't up there, having been forced to abandon after a fall on the first lap.
Out front, Van der Poel was comfortable in the lead, growing a 20-second gap on lap three to a minute's advantage at the midway point. Van Aert pushed on behind, but had no way to catch his rival, while only Pidcock could keep up with his pace.
Eventually, Pidcock fell back, too, hanging in with the Jumbo-Visma man until the final lap of the hour-long race. By that point, Van der Poel was home and dry, flexing a bicep as he rolled across the line for another win.
With one round to go – in Overijse on January 24 – Van Aert keeps the lead of the World Cup rankings, knowing that finishing second place or higher will be enough to secure overall victory. He sits on 125 points to Van der Poel's 110, with 40, 30 and 22 points going to the podium finishers. Vanthourenhout still has a mathematical chance of victory too – he lies third on 106 points.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix||1:05:27|
|2||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma||0:01:31|
|3||Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing||0:01:49|
|4||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:02:41|
|5||Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions||0:03:07|
|6||Lars Van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions||0:03:19|
|7||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans||0:03:32|
|8||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:03:37|
|9||Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:04:12|
|10||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Tormans||0:04:46|
|11||Pim Ronhaar (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:04:54|
|12||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Credishop-Fristads||0:05:01|
|13||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM||0:05:07|
|14||Thijs Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions||0:05:11|
|15||Daan Soete (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers||0:05:14|
|16||Kevin Kuhn (Swi) Tormans||0:06:04|
|17||Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix||0:06:24|
|18||Anton Ferdinande (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal|
|19||Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions|
|20||Ben Turner (GBr) Trinity Racing|
|21||Curtis White (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld|
|22||Timo Kielich (Bel) Credishop-Fristads|
|23||Timon Rüegg (Swi) Cross Team Legendre|
|24||David Menut (Fra) Cross Team Legendre|
|25||Mees Hendrikx (Ned) Credishop-Fristads|
|26||Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Group Hens-Maes Containers|
|27||Ivan Feijoo Alberte (Spa) Nest-Skoda Alecar|
|28||David Van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix|
|29||Michael Boroš (Cze)|
|30||Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Teika-BH-Gsport|
|31||Ugo Ananie (Fra) Cross Team Legendre|
|32||Valentin Guillaud (Fra)|
|33||Kevin Suarez Fernandez (Spa) Nest-Skoda Alecar|
|34||Michael Van den Ham (Can)|
|35||Mario Junquera san Millan (Spa)|
|36||Mathieu Morichon (Fra)|
|37||Luke Verburg (Ned)|
|38||Maik Van der Heijden (Ned)|
|39||Aurélien Philibert (Fra) Ardennes Cross Team|
|40||Nicolas Samparisi (Ita) KTM Alchemist p/b Brenta Brakes|
|41||Mickaël Crispin (Fra) Cross Team Legendre|
|42||Stan Godrie (Ned)|
|43||Tom Mainguenaud (Fra)|
|44||Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita) KTM Alchemist p/b Brenta Brakes|
|45||Arthur Tropardy (Fra)|
|46||Cédric Pries (Lux)|
|47||David Conroy (Irl)|
|48||Jonathan Anderson (USA)|
|49||Andrew Giniat (USA)|
|50||Jules Van Kempen (USA)|
|DNF||Thomas Mein (GBr) Tormans|
|DNF||Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal|
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