Mathieu van der Poel and Sanne were victorious in Lille, Belgium on Saturday at Krawatencross.

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) and World Champion Sanne Cant (IKO-Beobank) were victorious in Lille, Belgium on Saturday at Krawatencross.

Van der Poel also took the overall title of the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee for the elite men on Saturday, as Krawatencross was the final race in the season-long eight-race series. The Dutchman took seven wins in the series. He missed out on the top step at the first race back in October, the GP Mario de Clercq. He finished second there to Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea).

American Katie Compton (KFC Racing-Trek-Panache) captured the elite women’s title, which she actually secured at the penultimate race, the GP Sven Nys, on the first of the year.

After a disappointing world championship race, where he finished with the bronze medal, van der Poel got back to demolishing the elite men’s field in Lille. In his first race back since that awful day in Valkenburg, the Netherlands a week ago, van der Poel took the holeshot and soled the rest of the race to the victory.

The course in Lille was dry and incredibly fast. However, there were quite a few sand sections on the course, but by the time the elite men toed the line, the sand was all rutted and rideable. Thus, pack riding and conserving energy until late in the race was the key to success behind van der Poel.

Three-time World Champion Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) didn’t look to have his heart in the race, as he sat in the back half of groups throughout the hour-long event. On the last lap, he waved to the crowd on multiple occasions and rolled across the finish line in eighth.

The closing laps of the race were an edge-of-the-seat affair, as multiple battles raged in the top 10. Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) and Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles) were wheel-to-wheel for the final two podium spots and it was just a matter of which step either one of them would be standing on.

Sweeck led out the sprint down the finishing straight, but Merlier proved to have enough gas left in the tank to sprint past and take second behind van der Poel.

Corne van Kessel (Telenet Fidea) and Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Bingoal) were also locked-in battle until van Kessel dropped his chain on the penultimate lap. The Dutchman didn’t only lose a chance to contest fourth place, but also seemed to lose his confidence. He finished the race down in seventh, as his Telenet Fidea teammates, van der Haar and Toon Aerts, past him to take fifth and sixth.

Aerts finished second in the DVV Trofee series, over eight minutes down on van der Poel. The DVV Trofee is based on time, unlike most cyclocross series, which are based on points. Van Aert finished third overall with Sweeck and Pauwels rounding out the top five.

Top 10, Elite men

Cant wins for fifth time in season series, Comptom secures overall title

Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) and Cant got off to a quick start in Lille, separating themselves from the pack early on the opening lap, as Compton crashed. Annemarie Worst (ERA-Circus) and Ellen van Loy (Telenet Firdea) chased with the former bridging to the leaders before the end of the first circuit.

Laura Verdonschot (Marlux-Bingoal) led the main chase group, which also included Manon Bakker (Experza-Footlogix) and Loes Sels (Crelan-Charles) across the line, as Compton was over 30 seconds down at the end of the opening lap. Lille was also Compton’s final race of the 2017-18 season.

Cant hit the accelerator on the third of five laps and left Kapthijns and Worst behind. Her move must have put Worst on the limit, as she crashed on an off-camber U-turn and lost contact with Kaptheijns a short time after. The top three would all time trial for the rest of the race to finish first, second and third.

In the battle for fourth, Verdonschot and Bakker entered the final lap together, as van Loy slide backward. In the last month of the season, the Belgian rider has been starting well, but has not been able to sustain the 40-minute effort. Van Loy has faded off the podium late on multiple occasions recently. She finished eighth in Lille.

Verdonschot would get the better of Bakker to take fourth with Sels coming home in sixth. Compton put the power down late in the race to finish seventh, just ahead of van Loy and Nikki Brammeier (MUDIIITA-Canyon).

After DNFing the first race in the DVV Trofee series and skipping the second one, Koppenbergcross, Cant won five of the final six races. Not finishing the GP Mario de Clercq put Cant out of the running for the overall title.

Compton never finished off the podium in the series and captured two victories, the GP Mario de Clercq and GP Sven Nys. She comfortably won the overall title over Kaptheijns and Brammeier, who were second and third respectively.

Elite women full results

Elite men full results