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Van Aert wins in Bredene

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team)

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

Young Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) won the Versluys cyclo-cross race in Bredene, Belgium on a cold, wet and windy Saturday afternoon.

The 20-year-old Belgian rider was much stronger than the rest of the field on the muddy course through the dunes at the North Sea coast. Fellow youngsters Gianni Vermeersch and Tim Merlier – both 22 years old and riding for Sunweb-Napoleon Games – joined Van Aert on the podium. It's the eighth victory for Van Aert at the elite men's level this season. He also won six races in the men's under-23 category.

Van Aert was attracted by the organizers for their C2-race to replace last year's winner Zdenek Stybar, who called off his participation after his crash at the cross in Ardooie. Van Aert tried to please the crowd with a good performance and he set the pace early on.

He was joined by Sven Vanthourenhout (Crelan – AA Drink), Vermeersch and Merlier and later also Joeri Adams (Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace). As the hail tortured the riders, Adams, Merlier and Vermeersch were the first to get dropped, chasing the two remaining leaders with Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea).

With three laps to go, Vanthourenhout faded too. Afterwards he referred to having cold legs and a lack of power. Sven Nys' teammate went on to finish sixth.

Van Aert continued solo and with a mud-clad face he reached the finish line. Vermeersch beat teammate Merlier in the sprint for second place. Joeri Adams was fourth.

Last year, Stybar won in Bredene ahead of Rob Peeters. Both riders called off their participation in Bredene this year. Stybar is recovering from his injuries sustained at a crash in the Ardooie cyclo-cross. Peeters is struggling with illness and might be out for the race in Diegem on Sunday evening.

There was no race in the women's category in Bredene.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team0:57:40
2Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:32
3Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:35
4Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team
5Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team0:00:57
6Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team0:01:05
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:01:34
8Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:01:44
9Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:01:55
10David Menut (Fra)0:02:06
11Thomas Joseph (Bel) Lares - Doltcini Cycling Team0:02:15
12Berne Vankeirsbilck (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team0:02:20
13Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh Clement Professional Cyclocross Team
14Nicolas Bazin (Fra) BigMat-Auber 930:02:47
15Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team0:02:55
16Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles0:03:07
17Pieter Van Speybrouck (Bel)0:03:14
18Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:30
19Hendrik Sweeck (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team0:03:39
20Jelle Wallays (Bel)0:03:47
21Nicolas Pruvost (Fra)0:03:52
22Mathieu Morichon (Fra)0:04:02
23Tomas Paprstka (Cze) Remerx-Merida Team Kolin0:04:11
24Niels Koyen (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team0:04:38
25Yves Coolen (Bel) De Kastelse Durvers V.Z.W.0:04:55
26Kevin Suarez Fernandez (Spa)0:05:52
27Raphael Gay (Fra)
28Martin Haring (Svk)
29Nicolas Le Besq (Ned)
30Robin Alderweireld (Bel) Cycling Team Houtland-Westkust
31Robert Marion (USA)
32Theobald Ullrich (Ger)
33Robert Wardell (Swi)
34Romain Boutet (Fra)
35Christophe Cavazzana (Fra)
36Michal Malik (Cze)
37Arnau Rota Cano (Spa)
38Albert Poblet Dot (Spa)
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