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