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Hoogstraten: Van der Poel, Cant solo to top step

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) and Sanne Cant (IKO-Beobank) both completed the weekend sweep on Sunday at the Superprestige Hoogstraten in Belgium. Both riders also won on Saturday at the DVV Trofee Krawatencross. One race remains in the Superprestige series and both riders lead their respective divisions. They should take home the overall titles considering the way they both dominated the races this past weekend.

The course in Hoogstraten was a flat and muddy affair. There was very little elevation change on the circuit and most of the course was a light mud. However, the mud was not terribly thick and the riders did not have dismount and run until the final section just before they turned onto the paved finishing straight. This highlighted a rider’s running ability because a bad run to finish the race could see a rider slip off the podium.

Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea) led the elite men onto the course with David, not Mathieu, van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) in tow. European Champion Mathieu van der Poel had a bad start and was outside the top 10 in the early moments of the race. World Champion Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) had a solid start and was with the front-runners. He posted on social media in the morning prior to the race that this would be his last of the season. It was rather interesting his last race was of the season was Sunday, as he was leading the overall Superprestige series by one point over Mathieu van der Poel entering the race. Hoogstraten was only the penultimate race in the series.

Though a muddy affair, the course in Hoogstraten was quick and the opening laps of the elite men’s race saw lots of pack riding. The front group was constantly shuffling with riders joining and dropping off. Mathieu van der Poel finally put the hammer down on the first half of the fourth lap and left everyone in his wake. He ended the lap with a 22-second advantage over a chase group that contained the likes of van Aert, Aerts, Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus), Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles), Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) and many others.

Merlier attacked the chase group on the fifth lap and David van der Poel tried to follow. The group crossed the line with four laps to go in pieces, but everyone would come back together. Tactics were beginning to play a role with such a large group and there was a lot of looking around going on. Meanwhile, Mathieu van der Poel continued to charge on ahead and extend his lead.

While riders tried to break away on the next three laps, the group entered the final lap together. It was going to be a fight to the finish. The running section at the end of the lap was sure to be critical. Sweeck attacked in the early moments of the lap and the other riders in the group looked at each other to see who would chase. This would be their downfall, as Sweeck would ride away with second place.

The final running section was an all-out sprint in the chase, as only one podium spot remained. Onto the pavement, it was a full-on sprint with David van der Poel taking the honors. Vanthourenhout took fourth and Merlier finished fifth. Van Aert finished sixth in his last race of the 2017-18 season.

Elite men Top 10

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED) CORENDON – CIRCUS, 59:33
  • 2. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL) ERA-CIRCUS, 59:55
  • 3. David Van Der Poel, (NED) CORENDON – CIRCUS, 1:00:03
  • 4. Michael Vanthourenhout, (BEL) MARLUX – BINGOAL, 1:00:03
  • 5. Tim Merlier, (BEL) CRELAN – CHARLES, 1:00:05
  • 6. Wout Van Aert, (BEL) CRELAN – CHARLES, 1:00:09
  • 7. Toon Aerts, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:00:12
  • 8. Gianni Vermeersch, (BEL) STEYLAERTS – BETFIRST, 1:00:14
  • 9. Tom Meeusen, (BEL) CORENDON – CIRCUS, 1:00:20
  • 10. Wietse Bosmans, (BEL) ERA-CIRCUS, 1:00:37

Cant rides away, takes series lead

Two-time World Champion Sanne Cant took the holeshot in the elite women’s race and never looked back. She held nearly 10-second lead by the end of the first lap and only extended her advantage from there. Maud Katheijns (Crelan-Charles) and Cant entered the penultimate Superprestige tied on points and with Kathijns’ second-place finish the final race next weekend in Middelkere is sure to be exciting. Helen Wyman (Xypex-Verge Sport) rounded out the podium in third.

As with the elite men’s race, the elite women’s race featured pack riding behind the lone leader. Kaptheijns attacked at the running section to end lap two and move into second. Though, she was already more than 20 seconds behind Cant, so the win was out of reach. The battle for the final podium spot was now on.

Wyman moved into the third spot on the third of five laps, but there was a chase group hot on her wheels. Nikki Brammeier (MUDIIITA-Canyon), Annemarie Worst (ERA-Circus) and others were together battling for the remaining spots in the top five. Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) was also in the group and attacked and bridged to Wyman on the penultimate lap.

However, Del Carmen Alvarado would lose Wyman at the incredibly steep flyover late in the lap. The run into the flyover was slow due to the mud and the steepness of it meant that it was hit or miss whether a rider could ride all the way to the top. Wyman was able to make it all the way over the flyover while Del Carmen Alvarado had to dismount just short of the top. This caused her to lose contact with Wyman and she would never make it back.

Del Carmen Alvarado would finish the race in fourth with Worst fifth.

The final race of the 2017-18 Superprestige series is February 17 in Middelkerke.

Elite women full results

  • 1. Sanne Cant, (BEL), 40:26
  • 2. Maud Kaptheijns, (NED), 40:54
  • 3. Helen Wyman, (GBR), 41:00
  • 4. Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado, (NED), 41:17
  • 5. Annemarie Worst, (NED), 41:24
  • 6. Alice Maria Arzuffi, (ITA), 41:30
  • 7. Kim Van De Steene, (BEL), 41:34
  • 8. Nikki Brammeier, (GBR), 41:37
  • 9. Elle Anderson, (USA), 41:49
  • 10. Loes Sels, (BEL), 42:00
  • 11. Ellen Van Loy, (BEL), 42:29
  • 12. Jolien Verschueren, (BEL), 42:38
  • 13. Fleur Nagengast, (NED), 42:49
  • 14. Manon Bakker, (NED), 43:19
  • 15. Laura Verdonschot, (BEL), 43:41
  • 16. Joyce Vanderbeken, (BEL), 43:50
  • 17. Pauline Delhaye, (FRA), 44:02
  • 18. Aida NuÑo Palacio, (ESP), 44:08
  • 19. Karen Verhestraeten, (BEL), 44:16
  • 20. Suzanne Verhoeven, (BEL), 44:42
  • 21. Rebecca Fahringer, (USA), 44:57
  • 22. Alicia Franck, (BEL), 45:18
  • 23. Bianca Van Den Hoek, (NED), 45:35
  • 24. Denise Betsema, (NED), 45:35
  • 25. Kim Van De Putte, (BEL), 45:41
  • 26. Margriet Kloppenburg, (DEN), 46:17
  • 27. Veerle Goossens, (NED), 47:00
  • 28. Irene Gerritsen, (NED), 47:09
  • 29. Stefanie Paul, (GER), 47:19
  • 30. Jana Dobbelaere, (BEL), 47:34
  • 31. Laura Van Der Zwaan, (NED)
  • 32. Laura Krans, (NED)
  • 33. Shana Maes, (BEL)
  • 34. Corey Coogan Cisek, (USA)
  • 35. Caren Commissaris, (BEL)
  • 36. Tine Rombouts, (BEL)
  • 37. Tinne Vermeiren, (BEL)
  • 38. Kristien Nelen, (BEL)
  • 39. Tess Van Loy, (BEL)

Elite men full results

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED), 59:33
  • 2. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL), 59:55
  • 3. David Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:00:03
  • 4. Michael Vanthourenhout, (BEL), 1:00:03
  • 5. Tim Merlier, (BEL), 1:00:05
  • 6. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), 1:00:09
  • 7. Toon Aerts, (BEL), 1:00:12
  • 8. Gianni Vermeersch, (BEL), 1:00:14
  • 9. Tom Meeusen, (BEL), 1:00:20
  • 10. Wietse Bosmans, (BEL), 1:00:37
  • 11. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED), ,1:01:21
  • 12. Jens Adams, (BEL), 1:01:28
  • 13. Quinten Hermans, (BEL), 1:01:34
  • 14. Nicolas Cleppe, (BEL), 1:01:34
  • 15. Corne Van Kessel, (NED), 1:01:44
  • 16. Kevin Pauwels, (BEL), 1:01:54
  • 17. Dieter Vanthourenhout, (BEL), 1:02:01
  • 18. Jim Aernouts, (BEL), 1:02:08
  • 19. Gioele Bertolini, (ITA), 1:02:32
  • 20. Daan Soete, (BEL), 1:02:42
  • 21. Felipe Orts Lloret, (ESP), 1:02:52
  • 22. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE), 1:03:01
  • 23. Vincent Baestaens, (BEL), 1:03:07
  • 24. Joeri Adams, (BEL), 1:03:09
  • 25. Marcel Meisen, (GER), 1:03:37
  • 26. Rob Peeters, (BEL), 1:03:46
  • 27. Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga IbaÑez, (ESP), 1:04:23
  • 28. Braam Merlier, (BEL), 1:04:29
  • 29. Kenneth Van Compernolle, (BEL), 1:04:57
  • 30. Ismael Esteban Aguero, (ESP)
  • 31. Patrick Van Leeuwen, (NED)
  • 32. Stan Godrie, (NED)
  • 33. Michael Van Den Ham, (CAN)
  • 34. Thijs Van Amerongen, (NED)
  • 35. Tobin Ortenblad, (USA)
  • 36. Jens Gys, (BEL)
  • 37. Kerry Werner, (USA)
  • 38. Eric Thompson, (USA)
  • 39. Jonas Degroote, (BEL)
  • 40. Niels Koyen, (BEL)
  • 41. Mark Mcconnell, (CAN)
  • 42. Tyler Cloutier, (USA)
  • 43. Vincent Oger, (BEL)

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