Young Dutchman Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) repeated his long solo victory of last year in the World Cup opening round in Valkenburg, the Netherlands.
In warm, almost summer-like conditions, Van der Haar once again preceded Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), this time by 26 seconds. Compatriot Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) rode a great last lap and captured a surprising third place to give the Netherlands three riders in the top six, equal that of Belgium.
The USA's Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) finished a solid ninth at 1:10 but Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spyoptics) had a difficult start to the race, damaging his bike in the squeeze at the first corner. He eventually finished two laps down. Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) also had a bad day, losing his chain as he fought for a placing. He eventually quit the race.
“There’s one round less but anything can happen since I can be forced to drop out in the next round too. I rode a great race and did my thing. This was my first peak of the season. After the first lap I felt I had the legs to win today. Then I started to check out where I could exploit my qualities. It went perfect. I felt stronger than last year,” Van der Haar said after grabbing the victory.
Van der Haar led the race straight from the start and then awaited the arrival of Pauwels and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) to distance the rest of the field.
While Pauwels and Meeusen were spotted entering the pit area to grab a bottle of water, Van der Haar never opted to take a drink.
“I didn’t dare to take a bottle because if you miss it you have to stop otherwise you get disqualified. If those riders drink they must feel the heat. You don’t need to drink in a one hour race,” Van der Haar stated.
On the fourth lap Van der Haar upped the pace and dropped Meeusen. A little later Pauwels bounced out of a deep rut in a steep descent and landed on the ground. He got up but his chance of victory had gone.
“Lars was stronger,” Pauwels told Sporza. Van der Haar looked back but sped away and was gone for good.
“Pauwels was strong but I pushed him to the limit. You don’t crash if you’re comfortable. He probably was no longer fresh at that descent and crashed,” Van der Haar said.
While Van der Haar extended his lead up to more than a minute on the first chasers there was an exciting battle going on for the remaining podium spots.
At first Pauwels and Meeusen seemed to have the best cards but as the finale of the race unfolded Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus), Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), Thijs van Amerongen (Telenet-Fidea) and Van Kessel joined the chase group.
Walsleben was the first to blow up and settle for seventh place. On the final lap Vantornout accelerated but then got dropped with Van Amerongen when Van Kessel attacked.
“I took profit when the pace dropped a little,” Van Kessel told Sporza.
Meeusen waved goodbye to the podium when he touched the barriers in a fast corner and lost momentum. Pauwels easily gapped van Kessel and took second place.
Van der Haar defends his leading position in the World Cup on November 22 when the riders will battle in the sand dunes of Koksijde, Belgium.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Development Team Giant-Shimano||1:05:42|
|2||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:26|
|3||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||0:00:34|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:38|
|5||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea|
|6||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||0:00:41|
|7||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Bkcp - Powerplus||0:00:48|
|8||Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team||0:00:59|
|9||Jeremy Powers (USA)||0:01:10|
|10||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:01:24|
|11||Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:01:31|
|12||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:01:38|
|13||Michael Boros (Cze)||0:01:58|
|14||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:05|
|15||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||0:02:18|
|16||Francis Mourey (Fra) Fdj.Fr||0:02:23|
|17||Arnaud Grand (Swi)||0:02:25|
|18||Fabien Canal (Fra) Look - Beaumes De Venise||0:02:30|
|19||Twan Van Den Brand (Ned)||0:02:35|
|20||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Marchiol Emisfero||0:02:48|
|21||Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Remerx-Merida Team Kolin||0:02:55|
|22||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - Kwadro||0:03:04|
|23||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon - Kwadro||0:03:08|
|24||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team||0:03:24|
|25||Andreas Moser (Swi)||0:03:25|
|26||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels||0:03:38|
|27||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - Kwadro||0:04:02|
|28||Sascha Weber (Ger) Veranclassic - Doltcini||0:04:11|
|29||Simon Zahner (Swi)||0:04:12|
|30||Ian Field (GBr)||0:04:42|
|31||Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)||0:04:51|
|32||Melvin Rulliere (Fra)||0:04:58|
|33||Lukas Winterberg (Swi)||0:05:24|
|-1lap||Marco Bianco (Ita)|
|-1lap||Clement Lhotellerie (Fra)|
|-1lap||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Corendon - Kwadro|
|-2laps||Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned)|
|-2laps||Kenneth Hansen (Den)|
|-2laps||Severin Saegesser (Swi)|
|-2laps||Ben Berden (Bel)|
|-2laps||Jonathan Page (USA)|
|-3laps||Josep Betalu (Spa)|
|-3laps||David Van Der Poel (Ned) Bkcp - Powerplus|
|-4laps||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Veranclassic - Doltcini|
|-4laps||Joachim Parbo (Den)|
|-4laps||Elia Silvestri (Ita)|
|-5laps||Angus Edmond (NZl)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Development Team Giant-Shimano||80||pts|
|2||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||70|
|3||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||65|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||60|
|5||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||55|
|6||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||50|
|7||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Bkcp - Powerplus||48|
|8||Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Ct||46|
|9||Jeremy Powers (USA)||44|
|10||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||42|
|11||Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||40|
|12||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||39|
|13||Michael Boros (Cze)||38|
|14||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||37|
|15||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||36|
|16||Francis Mourey (Fra) Fdj.Fr||35|
|17||Arnaud Grand (Swi)||34|
|18||Fabien Canal (Fra) Look - Beaumes De Venise||33|
|19||Twan Van Den Brand (Ned)||32|
|20||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Marchiol Emisfero||31|
|21||Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Remerx-Merida Team Kolin||30|
|22||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - Kwadro||29|
|23||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon - Kwadro||28|
|24||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Ct||27|
|25||Andreas Moser (Swi)||26|
|26||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels||25|
|27||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - Kwadro||24|
|28||Sascha Weber (Ger) Veranclassic - Doltcini||23|
|29||Simon Zahner (Swi)||22|
|30||Ian Field (GBr)||21|
|31||Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)||20|
|32||Melvin Rulliere (Fra)||19|
|33||Lukas Winterberg (Swi)||18|
|34||Marco Bianco (Ita)||17|
|35||Clement Lhotellerie (Fra)||16|
|36||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Corendon - Kwadro||15|
|37||Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned)||14|
|38||Kenneth Hansen (Den)||13|
|39||Severin Saegesser (Swi)||12|
|40||Ben Berden (Bel)||11|
|41||Jonathan Page (USA)||10|
|42||Josep Betalu (Spa)||9|
|43||David Van Der Poel (Ned) Bkcp - Powerplus||8|
|44||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Veranclassic - Doltcini||7|
|45||Joachim Parbo (Den)||6|
|46||Elia Silvestri (Ita)||5|
|47||Angus Edmond (NZl)||4|
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