Meeusen wins sprint in Vlaamse Druivencross

Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea)

Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

A muddy and slippery edition of the Druivencross in Overijse was won by an acrobatic Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) on a wet Sunday afternoon. Meeusen outsprinted Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) was third at a  short distance ahead of his teammate Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus).

“It’s nice to have this race on my palmarès. In my career I’ve won a couple of nice races, like the Koppenbergcross, and this one fits in nicely among them. My tactic was to let the others waste their energy, especially Mathieu van der Poel who didn’t race yesterday; he was fresh,” Meeusen said to Sporza.

Belgian champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) had yet another off-day and was never in contention for a fifth consecutive Overijse victory, and he abandoned before the race was halfway.

The Druivencross or Grapes Cross is still regarded as a cyclo-cross classic even though they’re no longer part of one the major ‘cross series. The winner of three editions in five years receives a €12.500 check.

Teammates Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) and Meeusen led the peloton over the first part of the course while Mathieu van der Poel and Sven Nys were forced to bounce back from a poor starts. Van der Poel quickly mud-skated his way to the front while Nys kept struggling, riding outside the top 20.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) was unable to keep up with the large front group. After two laps of racing German champion Walsleben was in command but seven riders were still in the mix for the win.

While Nys abandoned the race, Mathieu van der Poel surged away in front. Only Meeusen, Walsleben and Vantornout managed to bridge back up with the young Dutchman. Another acceleration from Van der Poel put everybody in trouble. It was impressive to see how the youngster was running and sliding off the muddy descents.

With three laps to go the gap grew up to 10 seconds but Vantornout and Meeusen kept trying to come back, with Walsleben riding below the radar at longer distance. Van der Poel started showing signs of fatigue and came to a fall on an slippery off-camber descent.

Meeusen was the first to bridge back up but with two laps to go four riders were still in contention for the victory. Walsleben led the penultimate lap with Meeusen shouldering his teammate van der Poel.

Meeusen then moved to the front when hitting the final lap. Vantornout managed to overtake him rather quickly while the BKCP-riders were still in the mix but making too many mistakes to challenge the two riders in front of them. Just before the final muddy sections Meeusen surprised Vantornout and regained the lead, going flat out from that point.

Vantornout was glued on his wheel for the sprint but never managed to get out of it. “When I hit the final corner, I knew the win was mine. I had a lot of fun today,” Meeusen said. Van der Poel sprinted faster than teammate Walsleben to take third place. Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) was fifth at 44 seconds, ahead of Marcel Meisen (Corendon-Kwadro) and Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Kevin Pauwels clearly had his Spanish training camp on his mind and finished 12th. US rider Jonathan Page (XCE LED) was 19th in Overijse. 



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Full results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:59:16
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Philipp Walsleben (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team0:00:10
5Corné Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:00:44
6Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team0:00:45
7Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:49
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team0:02:05
9Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team0:02:11
10Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team0:02:23
11Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:35
12Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:43
13Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Veranclassic-Doltcini Cycling Team0:02:56
14David Van der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team0:03:08
15Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team0:03:16
16Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team0:03:30
17Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team0:03:41
18Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:04:01
19Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:04:35
20Mariusz Gil (Pol) Project Cross Racing0:04:40
21Dave De Cleyn (Bel) Cycling Team Zemst VZW0:05:21
22Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:05:41
23Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:05:46
24Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team0:06:07
25Bart Hofman (Bel) Nodrugs Heroes Flanders0:06:33
26Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team0:06:50
27Berne Vankeirsbilck (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team0:06:56
28Niels Koyen (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling teamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Kevin Cant (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Edwin De Wit (Bel) Kon. W.C. De Rupelspurters BoomRow 29 - Cell 2
31Fabian Obrist (Swi)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Ramon Sagues Portabella (Spa)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Remigiusz Gil (Pol) Project Cross RacingRow 32 - Cell 2
34Skyler Mackey (USA)Row 33 - Cell 2

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