Lars van der Haar and Katie Compton were victorious at the GP Mario de Clercq on Sunday in Ronse, Belgium.

Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea) took advantage of the gamesmanship between Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) and Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) to win the GP Mario de Clercq on Sunday in Ronse, Belgium, the opening round of the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee.

Van der Poel out-sprinted van Aert for second with Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napolean Games) coming in fourth.

The elite men’s race was dominated in the early laps be a large nine-rider group that contained all of the heavy hitters. Van der Poel got the holeshot, but soon Daan Soete (Telenet Fidea) took over the pacemaking. The first-year elite racer rarely left the front in the early going and his pace whittled the lead group down to nine riders.

However, on the fourth lap, van Aert finally said enough was enough and launched a group-shattering attack and when the dust settled only van der Poel had gone with him.

Pauwels, van der Haar, Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napolean Games), Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) and Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea) made up the chase

On the following lap, it appeared van Aert might be able to slip away when van de Poel briefly slipped in a corner. The Dutchman was able to recover quickly and rejoin the world champion at the front.

Sweeck had a mechanical problem with his chain and dropped out of the chase group.

The race came back together on the sixth of what would be nine laps, as the two leaders had continued to eye each other while the chase group powered along. Aerts had bridged the gap the lap before and then van der Haar dragged the Marlux-Napolean Games duo of Pauwels and Vanthourenhout to the front to create a lead group of six.

Van Aert was not satisfied with having six riders up front, so he made an effort to go to the front and set a high-pace. Only the Dutch duo of van der Poel and van der Haar were able to follow.

The leading trio traded attacks the following lap and then van der Haar attacked hard heading into two laps to go. He received no reaction from the two champions behind.

Van der Poel’s and van Aert’s poker tactics allowed Aerts, Pauwels, and Vanthourenhout to catch back on, while van der Haar was building an insurmountable lead.

The former under-23 world champion had over a 30 second lead on the chase group when he heard the bell for one lap to go.

Everyone in the chase group had a go at getting a gap, but nothing stuck and it looked to be coming down to sprint for the remaining podium spots.

Van Aert led the chase group onto the finishing for final time, but was unable to hold-off van der Poel and had to settle for third on the day. Pauwels finished fourth and Aerts rounded out the top-five.

The 40 second lead that van der Haar finished with is important, as the overall for the DVV Verzekeringen Troffee is calculated on time and not on points.

Men’s Top 10

Compton powers to victory

In the women’s race, Katie Compton (KFC Racing/Trek/Panache) took care of business and rode to a dominant victory in the opening round of the series. Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) finished second with Helen Wyman (Kona) sneaking into the final podium spot with a fast last lap.

Kaptheijns set a blistering pace at the front from the start, showing her victory at the opening round of the Superprestige series in Gieten was no fluke. Compton was the only one able to stay near the Dutchwomen and by the end of the opening lap it looked evident this would be a two-rider race for victory.

World Champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) crossed the line in 10th at the end of lap one.

The third lap of the five-lap race would be decisive, as Compton was able to drop Kaptheijns to move into the lead alone. Annemarie Worst (ERA-Circus) had been battling with Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) for third, but the under-23 world champion would not be able to keep pace with the British champion. On top of being dropped from a chance at the podium, Worst was also caught by Helen Wyman (Kona).

At the end of the lap, Compton held a nine-second lead over Kaptheijns with Brammeier a further 13 seconds behind.

Cant pulled out of the race at the end of the lap. It was not immediately known the reasoning for the abandon, but she was way back in the field at the time and was rubbing her back after she abandoned.

Compton entered the final lap on cruise control. She had a stable gap over Kaptheijns and was smooth through the corners and laid down the power on the straightaways. While the top step on the podium was all but secured, the battle for the final step was heating up.

Wyman had dropped Worst on the previous lap and was now hunting down her compatriot, Brammeier.

Onto the finishing straight for the final time, Compton smiled and waved as she won the opening round of the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee. Kaptheijns rode in 23 seconds behind. The gap is significant for the series overall. Wyman was able to get past Brammeier and secure the final spot on the podium.

Brammeier finished fourth with Alice Azuffi (Steylaerts-Betfirst) charging late in the race to slip into the top-five and push Worst into sixth.

The DVV Verzekeringen Trofee continues on November 1 at the infamous Koppenbergcross.

Women’s full results

Men’s full results