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Mathieu van der Poel storms to victory at GP Sven Nys

OTEGEM BELGIUM JANUARY 13 Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands and AlpecinFenix Team during the 52nd Internationale Betafence CX Otegem 2020 Men Elite UCICX Otegem on January 13 2020 in Otegem Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) started 2021 with a bang, delivering a commanding performance to win the GP Sven Nys on New Year's Day. 

In the latest round of the his rivalry with Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), the Dutchman came out on top, leaving the Belgian scrambling in vain to chase back on the final lap. 

Tom Pidcock (Trinity Racing), who had initially appeared to be Van der Poel's closest challenger, faded on the last couple of laps and settled for the final spot on the podium. 

It was Pidcock who, despite a first-lap mechanical, made the early running, leading solo after two of the seven laps. However, Van der Poel soon sensed danger and hunted him down, followed by Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal). Van Aert was in a chase group a few seconds further back but soon made a surge, and those four riders joined forces at the head of the race.

Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) clawed his way across on lap 4, but the quintet wouldn't stay together for long, as Van der Poel made his move on lap 5. The world champion crushed the pedals, opening a gap as Van Aert suffered a spill on a tricky, muddy off-camber section. Van der Poel took more than 20 seconds off the previous fastest lap, and never looked back. 

At the end of that fifth lap, Pidcock was the closest chaser, looking determined at just  five seconds, with Vanthourenhout at 14 seconds and Van Aert with Iserbyt at 17 seconds. However, on lap 6, Van Aert turned on the burners. After clashing with Pidcock on that off-camber section, he eased clear of the young Brit and settled into a solo pursuit. 

Van Aert had a 12-second deficit to claw back on the final lap, but Van der Poel made no mistake, mastering the technical elements while laying down the power all the way to the finish. Meanwhile, when Van Aert slipped again on that pesky off-camber section, he must have known the game was up and trailed in at 8 seconds as his rival punched the air in front. 

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix 1:00:18
2Wout Van Aert (Bel) 0:00:08
3Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:00:32
4Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:00:41
5Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:00:46
6Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:01:10
7Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions 0:01:59
8Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:02:21
9Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:02:35
10Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:02:42
11Thijs Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:03:00
12Ben Turner (GBr) Trinity Racing 0:03:05
13Timo Kielich (Bel) Credishop-Fristads 0:03:17
14Diether Sweeck (Bel) Credishop-Fristads 0:03:22
15Tom Meeusen (Bel) Group Hens - Maes Containers 0:03:27
16Lander Loockx (Bel) Group Hens - Maes Containers 0:03:34
17Ryan Kamp (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:03:37
18Thibau Nys (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions
19Thomas Mein (GBr) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:03:59
20Mees Hendrikx (Ned) Credishop-Fristads 0:04:06
21Loris Rouiller (Swi) Alpecin - Fenix 0:04:11
22Curtis White (USA) 0:04:57
23Jim Aernouts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:05:02
24Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:05:17
25Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:05:22
26Arne Vrachten (Bel) 0:06:36
27Ward Huybs (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:07:24
28Seppe Rombouts (Bel) 0:07:37
29Lennert Belmans (Bel) Iko - Crelan 0:07:41
30Mario Junquera San Millan (Spa) 0:07:53
31Thomas Verheyen (Bel) 0:08:01
32Victor Thomas (Fra) 0:09:05
33Wout Vervoort (Bel)
34Dolf Pemen (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct
35Klaas Groenen (Ned)
36Koen Van Dijke (Ned)
37Timothé Gabriel (Fra)
38Elio Clarysse (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct
39Ydris Salomez (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct
DNFPim Ronhaar (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal
DNFJelle Camps (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal
DNFJonathan Anderson (USA)
DNFJustin Laevens (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct
DSQMichael Van Den Ham (Can)

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