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Belgium’s two cyclocross stars Toon Aerts and Wout Van Aert had a rematch in round two of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup, and Aerts again got the better of the world champion. Michael Vanthourenhout was third Saturday in Iowa City.
Aerts made his winning move in the closing laps of the elite men’s race on a muddy, difficult track.
From the beginning, the Telenet-Fidea rider was keen to take control of the most competitive day of the Jingle Cross weekend. After Aerts’s teammate Lars van der Haar made a brief appearance at the front, taking the holeshot, Aerts took the lead.
Aerts and Van Aert led a group of eight after one lap, but the duo was soon off the front, just like it was a week prior in World Cup #1.
By the halfway point of the eight-lap race, Aerts and Van Aert had a 24-second lead on Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) and Quenten Hermans (Telenet-Fidea).
With a few laps to go, Van Aert bobbled, and Aerts took advantage.
Aerts, winner of the World Cup round in Waterloo, Wisconsin, poured it on. With one lap left, he had a 28-second lead.
Vanthourenhout was a distant third by that point 1:11 back, having dropped Hermans.
Aerts held his lead on the final lap in the muck to win his second World Cup in a row. Van Aert took second ahead of Vanthourenhout.
The World Cup resumes with round three in Bern, Switzerland, October 21.