Events

Alvarado, van der Poel win GP Sven Nys

Alpecin-Fenix pair both in dominant form in New Year's Day race.

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Mathieu van der Poel started the year with a bang for their team and its new sponsors. The Alpecin-Fenix (formerly Corendon-Circus) pair both took powerful victories at DVV Trofee Baal – GP Sven Nys, Wednesday.

The New Year’s Day race was set in damp, murky conditions on a course packed with technical features including stairs, pump-track style humps, barriers, and steep banking.

Alvarado won comfortably in a dominant performance. Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty [FILE]

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix) was unmatchable in the women’s race. The Dutchwoman led the race from the start, and rode away from the field in a display of both power and skill.

Alvarado started the race fast, taking the front with Annmarie Worst (777), and the pair soon gained a gap of 5 seconds. Yara Kastelijn (777) and Eva Lechner (Creafin-Fristads) led the chase.

Having injured her knee and not finished the race at DVV Trofee Azencross on Friday, Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise Lions) was back in action and followed soon behind. By lap 2, Brand had bridged up to Kastelijn and Lechner and soon passed them to take third. Despite missing recent races, Brand looked fast and comfortable on the tough course.

Alvarado pulled away from Worst in the middle of the race, perhaps in the knowledge that Brand was chasing hard.

Alvarado continued to power away solo, and went into the final lap with a 44-second advantage. By that point, Brand had passed Worst to take second. Worst was around 10 seconds behind her but looked fatigued and unlikely to challenge for second place.

Brand chased hard in the final lap, but Alvarado’s lead was already too great. Alvarado took the win, with Brand following, 56 seconds back.

The win extends Alvarado’s lead in the DVV Trofee series.

Women’s Top-3

  1. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix): 45:19
  2. Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise Lions): +00:56
  3. Annmarie Worst (777): +1:04
Van der Poel started 2020 like he ended 2019 – by outclassing the field. Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty [FILE]

It was a case of new year, same Mathieu in the men’s. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) pulled away from the field midway through the race and was never challenged in taking victory.

Van der Poel shot to the front of the race in the opening lap, with Eli Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout (both Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) sticking with him. Van der Poel slowly started cranking up the pressure and pulled away from the bunch toward the end of the lap, with only Iserbyt able to stay close by.

Behind the two leaders, Vanthourenhout, Corne van Kessel, and Quinten Hermans (both Tormans Cross) chased as a group.

Iserbyt gamely clung to van der Poel as long as possible, but by lap 4 had fallen away and joined the trio of chasers. Behind them, Tom Pidcock (Trinity) had been working through the field after a slow start.

Going into lap 5, van der Poel was comfortably in control of the race with a 40-second lead. Through the following laps, Iserbyt yo-yo’d off the front of the group of four that fought for second place, while Pidcock slowly winched his way into contact.

By lap 6, van der Poel looked guaranteed the victory, and Pidcock, Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout led the race for second place. Vanthourenhout fell away from the pair of lighter, more mobile, riders in lap 6, and the pair went head-to-head in a fight for second.

Going into the final lap, van der Poel was nearly 45 seconds ahead, and Pidcock was piling pressure onto Iserbyt, who was looking fatigued. Behind them, 10 seconds back, van Kessel and Vanthourenhout fought for fourth place.

Van der Poel eased off in the final lap, but still won by a comfortable 23-second margin. Iserbyt rallied in the last lap to distance Pidcock and take second ahead of the Brit.

Iserbyt retains his series lead over van der Poel.

Men’s Top-3

  1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): 1:01:40
  2. Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): +0:00:23
  3. Tom Pidcock (Trinity): +0:00:41