Mathieu van der Poel and Sanne Cant were victorious at the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee Flandriencross in Hamme, Belgium on Saturday.

After not being able to contest for the win at the world cup the day before due to an early mechanical, Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) took back over the top step on the podium Sunday at the Flandriencross in Hamme, Belgium. As has been the case for most of the season, van der Poel attacked the opening lap hard and opened a lead he would never relinquish.

Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles), who capitalized on van der Poel’s mechanical on Saturday to take the victory at the world cup in Zeven, Germany, finished second. Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napolean Games) continued his fine season to round out the podium.

The course in Hamme, Belgium was a muddy affair. While it didn’t have any steep long climbs, the terrain was constantly rolling. This forced the riders to be constantly on top of the pedals and allowed little time for recovery. The race organizers only put one obstacle on course, a double set of tires across the course on the side of one of the hills, which many of the elite men were able to ride. However, the extremely muddy conditions meant the riders had to dismount and run up some of the small slopes.

Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus), who was absent from the front of the race at the world cup, got off to a hot start and took the holeshot. However, van der Poel soon attacked over the top of him and rode away into the distance.

At the end of the opening lap, a chase group of eight had formed behind van der Poel. The group included Sweeck, van Aert, Vanthourenhout, Telenet Fidea teammates Toon Aerts and Corne van Kessel, Tom Meeusen (Beobank-Corendon), Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles) and Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napolean Games). The group would stay together for all of the second lap with Sweeck doing the majority of the pace making on the front.

The chase group shattered on the third of seven laps, as van der Poel’s lead hovered around 15 seconds. Van Kessel clipped the arm of an overzealous fan and went tumbling to the ground. This caused mayhem in the group and by the end of the lap, the group was split into ones and twos.

Van Aert and Vanthourenhout crossed the line together with Pauwels and Sweeck together chasing behind.

The fourth lap saw further destruction as van Aert dispatched Vanthourenhout and Pauwels left Sweeck behind. A battle for the top-five formed as Sweeck, Meesuen, Merlier and van Kessel got together. Sweeck crashed at the entrance of the pit later in the lap, which dropped him off the group.

On the following lap, Van Kessel and Meusen would sweep up Pauwels, as Merlier faded. Van Kessel would ride away from the other two and secure fourth on the day.

Van der Poel coasted through the final three laps of the race extending his lead over van Aert. The positions of top-three didn’t charge during the second half of the race.

Elite men top-10

Cant steals victory away from the Americans

Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) overcame a 10-second deficit entering the final lap to capture the victory on Sunday at Flandriencross. The world champion managed to chase down the American duo of national champion Katie Compton (KFC Racing/Trek/Panache) and Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing).

Compton and Noble dominated the race, but Cant always lingered behind. She demonstrated her power on the final lap by bridging to the leading duo. After sitting in for about a quarter of a lap she pounced on a heavy muddy section right near the second passage of the pits.

Noble finished second, throwing her hand in the air seemingly elated with her result. Compton finished right behind in third and retained her lead in the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee overall series.

The elite women’s race got off to a quick start with Ellen van Loy (Telenet Fidea) taking the holeshot. About midway through the lap, five riders separated themselves from the rest and it was apparent the winner would come from this group. Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles), Cant, Compton, and Noble joined Loy in the lead.

Noble was the only rider amongst the leaders to cleanly ride the tricky tire barrier section on the opening lap. She has become quite popular with her barrier hopping ability this year.

At the end of the lap, Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) was only a few seconds behind, but would not be able to bridge the final few meters to the leaders.

Noble and Compton turned the power up to another level on the second lap and broke away from the others. The two Americans would trade attacks for the rest of the race. Cant was unable to follow the initial move, but was never fully out of the picture, always hovering a few seconds off the wheels of the leaders.

Entering the final lap, Cant had begun to lose ground to the leaders and trailed them by 10 seconds at the line. However, she had saved some power for the final go-around.

Cant powered up to the leaders and instead of trying to attack them immediately, she sat on their wheels and recovered. She was biding her time.

The winning move came when Compton slowed as the riders passed the pits for the final time. The mud was thick and deep in this section of the course. Noble slide by Compton into the lead, but then Cant found another gear.

A winner the day before at the World Cup in Zeven, Germany, Cant never looked back after getting daylight to the two Americans. Noble fought desperately to bridge back to Cant, her face a picture of pain as well as determination.

Noble, the silver medalist in the women’s under-23 world cyclocross championship race in February, was unable to close the gap. However, her reaction when she crossed the line was pure joy and not disappointment.

Compton rounded out the podium in third. Loy finished fourth with Brammeier just behind in fifth.

The DVV Verzekeringen Trofee series continues on December 9th with Cyclocross Essen in Essen, Belgium.

Elite women full results

Elite men full results