Van der Poel wins Valkenburg World Cup

Dutch champion Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) won the third Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round in Valkenburg, Netherlands. Once again the young generation dominated the race in the Elite Men category. The 21-year-old Dutch rider finished solo, well ahead of World champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napoleon Games).

"It's good to win a World Cup round," Van der Poel told Telenet Play Sports. A crash from Van Aert made it easier to keep his gap over his rivals. "Yesterday it was my turn to crash, now it was Wout. If we put each other under pressure mistakes can happen more quickly. We're a close match to each other these days. To make the difference we have to test our limits."

Halfway through the nine-lap race around the famous Cauberg climb there were five leaders in the race with Van der Poel and Van Aert clearly being the strongest men. With three laps to go on the mostly dry course Van der Poel jumped away in a technical section, creating a small gap on Van Aert, Vanthourenhout and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea). One lap later the gap was still there when Van Aert slipped away in a fast off-camber descent, taking Meeusen down with him.

"He already had a gap when I fell. It's stupid to say you just crash out of the blue. Riders know why they crash: it's because you're riding on your limit. Mathieu was simply better and I'm happy I could salvage second place," Van Aert admitted.

Van der Poel easily brought the victory home, winning with a lead of 14 seconds over Van Aert and 21 seconds ahead of Vanthourenhout. "I was riding on my limit. I had a reference point where I saw that the gap was suddenly much bigger. I thought that Wout was the only rider not to crash but they were all affected," Van der Poel said.

Much earlier in the race Van Aert had played his cards. After a fast start from European champion Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) it was the world champion who took over the initiative. Only Van der Haar, Vanthourenhout, Meeusen, Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea) and Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games) were glued on his wheel.

Van der Poel didn't have a great start and the fast pace up front put him in trouble. Van der Haar crashed out of the lead, and halfway into the second lap Van Aert dropped his rivals, with Van der Poel still trailing at 11 seconds. During the two following laps Van der Poel went in pursuit of Van Aert. The chase in front was full on and their pace blew away the rest of the pack. After four laps of racing the duo was 20 seconds ahead of chasers Meeusen, Vanthourenhout and Pauwels.

"Early on I threw my cards on the table and Mathieu was able to come back," Van Aert said. After the duo got together the pace dropped again as both riders needed time to recover. "He put me under a lot of pressure and I was glad I could close the gap. Once he has a gap it's hard to close down. It was an option to leave him alone in front for a bit longer but you don't know how good he is," Van der Poel said.

Vanthourenhout profited from the slower pace up front to bridge back up, together with Meeusen and Pauwels. Due to the crash from Van Aert and Meeusen the young Belgian nearly captured second place but Van Aert passed him again late in the race.

"Due to the crash I had quite a big gap but I knew it would be hard to hold on to. After the stairs I felt I didn't have enough left in the tank," Vanthourenhout told Telenet Play Sports.

Tom Meeusen was in the mix for a podium spot in Valkenburg after a week in which he received a critical comment from team manager Sven Nys. "It's been a turbulent week. I'm happy I managed two fourth places this weekend," Meeusen said. Meeusen hit Van Aert's bike with his knee during the pile-up in the penultimate lap but he didn't mind too much. "It's a challenging course and then this can happen. Wout went full gas and slipped away, getting stuck behind the fencing," Meeusen said.

In the World Cup standings Van Aert leads with 230 points, strengthening his lead over Laurens Sweeck (Beobank-Corendon) who finished ninth in Valkenburg up to 56 points. Michael Vanthourenhout moves up to third place with 166 points, two more than teammate Pauwels. Van der Poel didn't participate in the two first World Cup rounds; he's 19th overall with 80 points.

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon1:05:13
2Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice0:00:14
3Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games0:00:21
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:34
5Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games0:00:49
6Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:56
7Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:01:07
8Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:22
9Laurens Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus0:01:28
10Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice0:01:33
11Jens Adams (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice0:01:48
12Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:56
13Marcel Meisen (Ger) Steylaerts-Verona0:02:07
14Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:02:15
15Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Beobank-Corendon0:02:28
16Simon Zahner (Swi)0:02:30
17Michael Boros (Cze) ERA-Circus0:02:36
18Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Team SteylaertsRow 17 - Cell 2
19Daan Soete (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:39
20Steve Chainel (Fra)0:02:44
21Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:02:45
22Severin Saegesser (Swi)0:02:46
23Jan Nesvadba (Cze) Expres Cz-Merida Team Kolin0:02:51
24Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) Beobank-Corendon0:02:57
25Martin Haring (Svk) Dukla Banska BystricaRow 24 - Cell 2
26David Van Der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon0:03:03
27Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:03:11
28Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games0:03:20
29Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team0:03:25
30Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:03:38
31Matthieu Boulo (Fra)0:03:43
32Francis Mourey (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:03:56
33Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:04:14
34Kevin Suarez Fernandez (Spa)0:04:30
35Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Expres CZ-Merida Team Kolin0:04:47
36Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:04:52
37Diether Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus0:05:02
38Lukas Winterberg (Swi)0:05:11
39Alois Falenta (Fra)0:05:24
40Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Beobank-Corendon0:05:38
41Andreas Moser (Swi)0:05:41
42Nicolas Samparisi (Ita)0:06:21
43Michal Malik (Cze)0:06:51
44Anthonin Didier (Fra)0:06:57
45Matej Lasak (Cze)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Tobin Ortenblad (USA) Santa Cruz Factory RacingRow 45 - Cell 2
47Sascha Weber (Ger)Row 46 - Cell 2
48Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita)Row 47 - Cell 2
49Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) ERA-CircusRow 48 - Cell 2
50Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)Row 49 - Cell 2
51Mariusz Gil (Pol)Row 50 - Cell 2
52Christian Helmig (Lux)Row 51 - Cell 2
53Yoann Corbihan (Fra)Row 52 - Cell 2
54Marvin Schmidt (Ger)Row 53 - Cell 2
55Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa)Row 54 - Cell 2
56Lex Reichling (Lux)Row 55 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
World Cup standings after three races
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice230pts
2Laurens Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus174Row 1 - Cell 3
3Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games166Row 2 - Cell 3
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games164Row 3 - Cell 3
5Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions154Row 4 - Cell 3
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions137Row 5 - Cell 3
7Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Team Steylaerts126Row 6 - Cell 3
8Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice118Row 7 - Cell 3
9Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games117Row 8 - Cell 3
10Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions113Row 9 - Cell 3
11Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Beobank-Corendon108Row 10 - Cell 3
12Steve Chainel (Fra)102Row 11 - Cell 3
13Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions101Row 12 - Cell 3
14Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions98Row 13 - Cell 3
15Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions96Row 14 - Cell 3
16Rob Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice91Row 15 - Cell 3
17Daan Soete (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions85Row 16 - Cell 3
18Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) Beobank-Corendon82Row 17 - Cell 3
19Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon80Row 18 - Cell 3
20Matthieu Boulo (Fra)75Row 19 - Cell 3
21Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles67Row 20 - Cell 3
22Diether Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus66Row 21 - Cell 3
23Stephen Hyde (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com62Row 22 - Cell 3
24Simon Zahner (Swi)62Row 23 - Cell 3
25Marcel Meisen (Ger) Steylaerts-Verona59Row 24 - Cell 3
26David Van der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon58Row 25 - Cell 3
27Jeremy Martin (Can) Focus CX Team Canada55Row 26 - Cell 3
28Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo Mtb Racing Team53Row 27 - Cell 3
29Tobin Ortenblad (USA) Santa Cruz Factory Racing53Row 28 - Cell 3
30Michael Van Den Ham (Can) Garneau - Easton Cycling52Row 29 - Cell 3
31Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Beobank-Corendon49Row 30 - Cell 3
32Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin48Row 31 - Cell 3
33Jeremy Powers (USA) Aspire Racing41Row 32 - Cell 3
34Jens Adams (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice40Row 33 - Cell 3
35Travis Livermon (USA) Maxxis-Shimano Pro Cyclocross40Row 34 - Cell 3
36Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits39Row 35 - Cell 3
37Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) ERA-Circus39Row 36 - Cell 3
38Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing39Row 37 - Cell 3
39James Driscoll (USA) Raleigh Clement39Row 38 - Cell 3
40Anthony Clark (USA) Squid38Row 39 - Cell 3
41Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team37Row 40 - Cell 3
42Dan Timmerman (USA) Stan'S Notubes Elite CX37Row 41 - Cell 3
43Kerry Werner (USA) Kona Endurance Team37Row 42 - Cell 3
44Michael Boros (Cze) ERA-Circus34Row 43 - Cell 3
45Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji34Row 44 - Cell 3
46Jeremy Durrin (USA) Neon Velo Cycling Team32Row 45 - Cell 3
47Allen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport/Yogaglo32Row 46 - Cell 3
48Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels30Row 47 - Cell 3
49Severin Saegesser (Swi)29Row 48 - Cell 3
50Jan Nesvadba (Cze) Expres Cz-Merida Team Kolin28Row 49 - Cell 3
51Craig Richey (Can) Garneau - Easton Cycling28Row 50 - Cell 3
52Martin Haring (Svk) Dukla Banska Bystrica26Row 51 - Cell 3
53Justin Lindine (USA) Apex / NBX / Trek26Row 52 - Cell 3
54Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team25Row 53 - Cell 3
55Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels21Row 54 - Cell 3
56Francis Mourey (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept19Row 55 - Cell 3
57Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing18Row 56 - Cell 3
58Kevin Suarez Fernandez (Spa)17Row 57 - Cell 3
59Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Expres Cz-Merida Team Kolin16Row 58 - Cell 3
60Andrew Dillman (USA) Cyclocross Alliance16Row 59 - Cell 3
61Hector Riveros (Col)16Row 60 - Cell 3
62Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar16Row 61 - Cell 3
63Mark Mcconnell (Can) Hot Sauce Cycling X Garneau16Row 62 - Cell 3
64Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)15Row 63 - Cell 3
65Curtis White (USA) Rally Cycling14Row 64 - Cell 3
66Lukas Winterberg (Swi)13Row 65 - Cell 3
67Alois Falenta (Fra)12Row 66 - Cell 3
68Benjamin Sonntag (Ger) Team Clif Bar11Row 67 - Cell 3
69Andreas Moser (Swi)10Row 68 - Cell 3
70Nicolas Samparisi (Ita)9Row 69 - Cell 3
71Michal Malik (Cze)8Row 70 - Cell 3
72Anthonin Didier (Fra)7Row 71 - Cell 3
73Matej Lasak (Cze)6Row 72 - Cell 3
74Antonin Marecaille (Fra) AVC Aix En Provence6Row 73 - Cell 3
75Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) Kalas-NNOF6Row 74 - Cell 3
76Aaron Schooler (Can) Focus CX Team Canada6Row 75 - Cell 3
77Sascha Weber (Ger)4Row 76 - Cell 3
78Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita)3Row 77 - Cell 3
79Christian Helmig (Lux)3Row 78 - Cell 3
80Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)1Row 79 - Cell 3
81Yoann Corbihan (Fra)1Row 80 - Cell 3

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