Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) made it six wins in a row for the 2021-2022 cyclo-cross season, taking out the Azencross in Loenhout ahead of Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek).
Unlike his previous wins, where he rode away solo early in the race, Van Aert waited until the penultimate lap to ditch Quinten Hermans (Tormans CX) and Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) in pursuit of Vanthourenhout, who attacked through the pit mid-lap.
Van Aert bridged across to Vanthourenhout then left him behind, while the race for the X2O Badkamers Trophy played out further back, where Aerts fought to gain time over Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal).
Vanthourenhout held on for second at 14 seconds, while Aerts made great strides toward the GC in third at 27 seconds but 1:13 ahead of rival Iserbyt. He now leads the series by nearly two minutes.
"I am happy with this victory. I tried to achieve it as economically as possible, because there was a lot of wind today," Van Aert said.
"There was a long stretch into the headwind. That's why I didn't want to go alone too quickly, because that would have cost me a lot of strength. I tried to make the difference a little later."
"When Michael Vanthourenhout accelerated, I had to give everything to get back on track and then I immediately took over. For the time being, things are going very well. I hope to get through the coming races well, because there are a lot of them in a short time. And then hopefully I will be recovered in time for the Belgian Championship."
In absence of his famous brother, David van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) took the hole shot but it was Sweeck who claimed the early lead, stretching the bunch out along the heavy, muddy course.
Aerts attacked for the bonus seconds, followed by Iserbyt and Hermans but the race stayed largely together until lap three, when Van Aert put in a surge and took Sweeck and Hermans along.
Vanthourenhout scrambled across on lap four thanks to a superior strategy coping with a ditch right before the mechanic's pit. Riding far into the pits before taking a new bike, he joined the leaders and used the same strategy on the next lap to attack.
But Van Aert was ready and joined Vanthourenhout and, despite sliding out on a slick bend and having to step off, he found his footing and soon attacked to solo to victory.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma||0:56:16|
|2||Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:00:14|
|3||Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions||0:00:27|
|4||Corne van Kessel (Ned) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:00:41|
|5||Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:00:54|
|6||Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:00:59|
|7||Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Burgos-BH||0:01:04|
|8||Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix||0:01:10|
|9||Vincent Baestaens (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes||0:01:17|
|10||Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:01:25|
|11||Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix||0:01:32|
|12||Jens Adams (Bel)||0:01:33|
|13||Tom Meeusen (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes||0:01:34|
|14||Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:01:41|
|15||Daan Soete (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes||0:02:09|
|16||Thomas Mein (GBr) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:02:20|
|17||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix||0:02:31|
|18||Kevin Kuhn (Swi) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:03:13|
|19||Thijs Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions||0:03:17|
|20||Lander Loockx (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes||0:03:33|
|21||Curtis White (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld||0:03:42|
|22||Tony Periou (Fra) Team S1 Neo Loudeac||0:03:45|
|23||Arne Vrachten (Bel)||0:04:02|
|24||Kerry Werner (USA)||0:04:13|
|25||Kevin Suarez Fernandez (Spa) Nesta - MMR CX Team||0:04:15|
|26||Seppe Rombouts (Bel)||0:04:16|
|27||Robin Alderweireld (Bel)||0:04:49|
|28||Mathijs Wuyts (Bel)||0:04:54|
|29||Stan Godrie (Ned)||0:04:56|
|30||Julian Siemons (Bel)||0:05:07|
|31||Valentin Guillaud (Fra) Team Guevel Immobilier Laval Cyclisme 53||0:05:43|
|32||Jonas Degroote (Bel)||0:05:47|
|33||Mario Junquera San Millan (Spa) Unicaja Banco - Gijon||0:05:52|
|34||Mathieu Morichon (Fra) Team Royalbikeshop.Com||0:05:57|
|35||David van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix||0:06:15|
|36||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Alpecin - Fenix||0:06:16|
|37||Valentin Humbert (Fra) Team S1 Neo Loudeac||0:06:44|
|38||Caleb Swartz (USA)||0:06:46|
|39||Senne De Meyer (Bel)|
|40||Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel)||0:07:07|
|41||Klaas Groenen (Ned)||0:07:14|
|42||Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious||0:07:16|
|43||Nick Peers (Bel)||0:07:18|
|44||Lorenzo Marasco (Fra) Sebmotobikes CX Team||0:07:19|
|45||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel)||0:07:21|
|46||Siebe Tormans (Bel)||0:07:25|
|47||Alex Colman (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise||0:07:26|
|48||Grégory Careme (Bel)|
|49||Matej Ulik (Svk)|
|50||Dries Van Gestel (Bel) TotalEnergies|
|51||Celestin Guillon (Fra)|
|52||Florian Hamm (Ger) Schamel p/b Kloster Kitchen|
|53||Ondřej Zelený (Cze)|
|54||Maarten Van Staeyen (Bel)|
|55||Yelle Leaerts (Bel)|
|56||Cameron Jette (Can)|
|57||Andrew Giniat (USA)|
|58||Mathieu Taburet (Fra)|
|59||Finnegan O'Connor (USA)|
|60||Philipp Heigl (Aut)|
|61||Rory Jack (USA)|
|62||Tyler Cloutier (USA)|
|63||Andy Ruts (Bel)|
|64||Yannick Mayer (Ger)|
|65||Frederick Junge (USA)|
|66||Gauthier Heymes (Fra)|
|67||Greg Bruynseels (Svk)|
|DNF||Diether Sweeck (Bel) IKO - Crelan|
|DNF||Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions|
|DNF||Tim De Schuyter (Bel)|
|DNF||Nicholas Lando (USA)|
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Latest on Cyclingnews
Early season racing steps up a level with five-day Mallorca ChallengeMatthews, Jorgenson, McNulty, Mas and Ackermann lead WorldTour team debuts on Mediterranean island
Castelli Flanders Warm Neck Warmer winter base layer reviewDoes it work to integrate a neck warmer directly into a base layer?
Introducing: Hélène ClauzelFrench rider feeling motivated ahead of World Cyclocross Championships following top-10 finish in UCI World Cup series
Best pressure washers for bikes: the best post-ride bike cleaners testedThe best bike-friendly pressure washers will blast dirt away without damaging bearings and seals, so we put the best pressure washers to the test