Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) easily won the Trek CXC World Cup in Waterloo, Wisconsin Sunday breaking away on the first lap and putting an exclamation mark on his brief U.S. tour.
"It was not my plan [to breakaway]," Van der Poel said. "You can make a plan, but if you mess up your start, then it is gone already. I had a good start, and I felt right from the beginning that I had a good day."
Sunday's parcours was similar to Friday's C2 race, but with a few additions including a steep run-up on 'Factory Hill' and a dry and dusty off-camber traverse out of a forest section dubbed the 'Junkyard Drop." Heat again played a role as temperatures climbed over 30 degrees Celsius by midday, but riders seemed more prepared to deal with the unseasonably hot Midwest weather.
Unphased by the heat Van der Poel ripped away from the field at the gun, winning the holeshot, and setting a tempo that enabled him to open up a large gap on the field halfway into the lap.
Behind Van der Poel, a crash claimed several riders in the first corner and a subsequent crash shortly after claimed, Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Charles) who spent the remainder of the race trying to make his way back to the front. It was a lackluster week for the World Champion who dominated at the Trek CXC Cup, CrossVegas, and Jingle Cross in 2016.
"The second half was way better than the first," Van Aert said about his race. "I was behind a crash, and the first lap and my shoe came loose, and also my derailleur was stuck because someone had rode into it in from behind."
Three laps into the race Van der Poels gap had grown to over 20 seconds while a chase group consisting of Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles), Daan Soete (Telenet Fidea Lions), Corne van Kessel (Telenet Fidea Lions), and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napoleon Games) separated from the remainder of the peloton.
Van der Poel used the technical sections of the course, which was dusty and slippery, to build a large gap and gain a few seconds each lap.
"It is always the advantage when you are alone at the front, and you can choose your line and do your own thing," Van der Poel said. "I could be a little be more careful in the tricky descents and the corners, and I could go full gas where it was possible."
The chase group, led by Van Kessel and Soete, formed into a powerful train but steadily lost time on Van der Poel, who ultimately won the race by 33 seconds. The Telenet Fidea Lions were forced to do more work, but their numbers enabled them to keep activity under control. The fight for second place began with one lap to go as the group drove up their final trip up Factory Hill. Van Kessel was able to get on the front of the group on the hill and used his advantage to finish second followed by his teammate Soete in third.
Van Kessel said the unique conditions, which claimed many riders throughout the day, were not like anything he could compare to in Europe.
"Some points were just like ice, it didn't give a sign of being slippery, but when you hit it you lost control of your bike," Van Kessel said. "That was the special thing of the course, you had to be careful in the corners and hold the good lines, and then you can handle the speed. But when you were off the good line it is hard to hold your bike straight."
Wout Van Aert showed signs that his form was improving after clawing his way back into the top 10, finishing in 7th place ahead of Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) in 8th.
"I had quite a lot of bad luck in the first few minutes," Van Aert said. "Afterwards it was difficult to pass riders on this fast and tricky course. I can't be happy with the result, but the feeling was way better than last week."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon||1:06:59|
|2||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:33|
|3||Daan Soete (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions|
|4||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:00:38|
|5||Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan - Charles||0:00:44|
|6||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:00:49|
|7||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan - Charles||0:00:53|
|8||Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:00|
|9||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:09|
|10||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Beobank-Corendon||0:01:15|
|11||Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:01:16|
|12||Steve Chainel (Fra) Team Chazal Canyon||0:01:29|
|13||Michael Boroš (Cze) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:01:40|
|14||Vincent Baestaens (Bel)||0:01:52|
|15||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:01:56|
|16||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) ERA-Circus||0:02:00|
|17||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:04|
|18||Stephen Hyde (USA)||0:02:10|
|19||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:15|
|20||Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:02:20|
|21||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus||0:02:24|
|22||Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan - Charles|
|23||Matthieu Boulo (Fra)||0:02:37|
|24||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Steylaerts - Betfirst||0:02:47|
|25||Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:03:00|
|26||Kerry Werner (USA)||0:03:11|
|27||Tobin Ortenblad (USA)||0:03:27|
|28||Ian Field (GBr)||0:03:49|
|29||Michael Van Den Ham (Can) Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions Lifecare||0:03:57|
|30||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts - Betfirst||0:04:07|
|31||Maxx Chance (USA)||0:04:12|
|32||Anthony Clark (USA)||0:04:22|
|33||Spencer Petrov (USA) Aspire Racing||0:04:36|
|34||Garry Millburn (Aus)||0:04:48|
|35||Rob Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:04:52|
|36||Justin Lindine (USA)||0:04:55|
|37||Curtis White (USA)||0:05:02|
|38||James Driscoll (USA)||0:05:12|
|39||Andrew Dillman (USA)||0:05:27|
|40||Gage Hecht (USA)||0:05:46|
|41||Travis Livermon (USA)||0:06:04|
|42||Gunnar Holmgren (Can) Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions Lifecare||0:06:10|
|43||Allen Krughoff (USA)||0:06:21|
|44||Mark Mcconnell (Can)||0:06:40|
|45||Jeremy Durrin (USA)|
|46||Diether Sweeck (Bel) Era-Circus|
|47||Derrick St John (Can)|
|48||Craig Richey (Can) Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions Lifecare|
|49||Trevor O'donnell (Can)|
|50||Brody Sanderson (Can)|
|51||Derek Zandstra (Can)|
|52||Masaru Nakazato (Jpn)|
|DNF||Jeremy Powers (USA) Aspire Racing|
|DNF||Brendon Sharratt (NZl)|
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