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Wout van Aert claims Cyclo-cross World Cup with victory in Overijse

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OVERIJSE BELGIUM JANUARY 24 Arrival Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team JumboVisma Celebration during the 61st Druivencross World Cup 2021 Mens Elite Mud UCICX CXWorldCup Ostend2021 on January 24 2021 in Overijse Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) seals the World Cup overall with victory in Overijse (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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OVERIJSE BELGIUM JANUARY 24 Arrival Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team JumboVisma Celebration during the 61st Druivencross World Cup 2021 Mens Elite Mud UCICX CXWorldCup Ostend2021 on January 24 2021 in Overijse Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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OVERIJSE BELGIUM JANUARY 24 Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team JumboVisma during the 61st Druivencross World Cup 2021 Mens Elite Mud UCICX CXWorldCup Ostend2021 on January 24 2021 in Overijse Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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OVERIJSE BELGIUM JANUARY 24 Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands and Team Alpecin Fenix during the 61st Druivencross World Cup 2021 Mens Elite UCICX CXWorldCup Ostend2021 on January 24 2021 in Overijse Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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OVERIJSE BELGIUM JANUARY 24 Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands and Team Alpecin Fenix during the 61st Druivencross World Cup 2021 Mens Elite Soigneur Bike Change UCICX CXWorldCup Ostend2021 on January 24 2021 in Overijse Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) punctured and lost contact mid-race (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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OVERIJSE BELGIUM JANUARY 24 Toon Aerts of Belgium and Team Baloise Trek Lions during the 61st Druivencross World Cup 2021 Mens Elite UCICX CXWorldCup Ostend2021 on January 24 2021 in Overijse Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Belgian Wout Van Aert pictured during the mens elite race of the Druivencross cyclocross cycling event last stage of the UCI World Cup competition in Overijse Belgium Sunday 24 January 2021BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Wout Van Aert (Jumbo–Visma) landed a psychological blow on rival Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) ahead of next week’s world championships by beating him in the World Cup race in Overijse

Van der Poel suffered a puncture early in the race costing him 29 seconds on his lone rival. Despite pulling the gap back to 10 seconds van der Poel paid for his efforts and crashed in the latter stages, allowing the Belgium champion to re-build a winning margin of over a minute. 

Van der Poel finished second while Tom Pidcock (Trinity Racing) took third following a battle with Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal). 

Van Aert’s win was his second of this year’s World Cup and gave him the overall series victory.

Speaking about his overall victory, Van Aert said: “It was an opportunity that came up because of the Covid crisis we are all going through and I took it so I’m very pleased with my overall victory. 

“It’s also great to go with this mental victory into the world championships.” 

Van der Poel said that a mistake with two laps to go was crucial after he had battled back to Van Aert. 

“I think the flat tyre was too much but after I recovered from the power that I lost through the flat tyre I came close to Wout (Van Aert) again but then I made a crucial mistake,” he added. 

“It was too hard for me to close the gap again but I can be satisfied with my race today.”

How the race unfolded

Van Aert knew that a second placed finish or better would secure him the series and looked to take control from the outset, but he was closely followed by  van der Poel.

The rivals had battled the previous day at the at the Flandriencross and were nine seconds clear of the chasers on the opening lap. 

Behind,  Pidcock was joined by Vanthourenhout, Aerts and Quinten Hermans (Tormans Cyclo-Cross Team) in the battle for third place. 

At the end of the second lap van der Poel suffered a puncture allowing Van Aert to ride away from his rival as the World Champion had to ride the long road climb on a flat tyre. 

By the time van der Poel arrived at the pits to get a replacement bike he was 29 seconds behind his Belgium rival, who also had problems sliding out as he looked to extend the gap. 

Van der Poel was looking to recoup his time lost and with 40 minutes left he quickly reduced the gap behind Van Aert to 10 seconds in less than a lap by using his technical skills on the slippery descents. 

In the battle for third Pidcock gapped Vanthourenhout using his bike handling skills before increasing his margin. Van der Poel suffered from his initial effort and with Van Aert keeping his pace consistent the gap was increased back out to 18 seconds at the half-way point with Pidcock a further 21 seconds back. 

The reigning World Champion was pushing the course and his skills to the limit in pursuit of his rival and after recovering from his initial effort van der Poel increased the pressure on his rival with the gap reducing again to 11 seconds. 

In the battle for final podium place a crash by Pidcock with three laps remaining allowed Vanthourenhout to bridge the gap back to him. 

Two crashes for an under-pressure van der Poel allowed his rival to pull out a winning gap of 50 seconds at the bell and a minute by the finish. 

Vanthourenhout also had problems in the slippery mud and Pidcock was able to pull clear to clinch third. 

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 1:05:57
2Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix 0:01:03
3Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:02:07
4Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:02:24
5Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:02:49
6Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions 0:03:26
7Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:03:35
8Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:03:41
9Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:03:57
10Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Credishop-Fristads 0:04:12
11Timo Kielich (Bel) Credishop-Fristads 0:04:25
12Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:04:35
13Kevin Kuhn (Swi) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:04:44
14Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix 0:05:01
15Pim Ronhaar (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:05:14
16Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:05:20
17Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team Dsm 0:05:22
18Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix 0:05:23
19Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Teika-Bh-Gsport
20Daan Soete (Bel) Group Hens - Maes Containers 0:05:45
21Thomas Mein (GBr) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:06:20
22Curtis White (USA) Team Skyline 0:06:33
23Tim Van Dijke (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Development Team 0:06:51
24Jakob Dorigoni (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite
25Gioele Bertolini (Ita)
26Timon Rüegg (Swi) Cross Team Legendre
27Mees Hendrikx (Ned) Credishop-Fristads
28Anton Ferdinande (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal
29Joshua Dubau (Fra)
30Michael Boroš (Cze)
31Joris Delbove (Fra)
32Gilles Mottiez (Swi)
33Yan Gras (Fra) Aaa Sörius
34Maik Van Der Heijden (Ned)
35Stan Godrie (Ned)
36Dario Lillo (Swi)
37Luke Verburg (Ned)
38Kevin Suarez Fernandez (Spa) Nesta - Skoda Alecar Cx Team
39Joran Wyseure (Bel)
40Jofre Cullell Estape (Spa)
41Hugo Jot (Fra)
42David Van Der Poel (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix
43Kyle Agterberg (Ned)
44Matej Ulik (Svk)
45Joris Ryf (Swi)
46Loïc Bettendorff (Lux)
47Jakub Říman (Cze)
48Gosse Van Der Meer (Ned)
49Tom Mainguenaud (Fra)
50Daniel Mayer (Cze)
51Ondrej Glajza (Svk)
52Felix Stehli (Swi)
53Jules Van Kempen (USA)
54Cédric Pries (Lux)
55Robert Hula (Cze)
56Philipp Heigl (Aut)
57Jonathan Anderson (USA)
58Šimon Vaníček (Cze)
59Jakub Kurty (Svk)
60Mik Esser (Lux)
61Tetsuki Kaji (Jpn)
DNFSascha Weber (Ger)
DNFBen Turner (GBr) Trinity Racing
DNFCameron Mason (GBr) Trinity Racing
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