Events

Koksijde: van der Poel in a class of his own

Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) won the third round of the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium on Sunday.

After crashing out of the lead group the day before at the Telenet Superprestige in Boom, Belgium, Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) demonstrated he is in a class of his own on Sunday. The Dutchman led start to finish, as he did at the first two world cup races, to triumph at the third Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup on Sunday in Koksijde, Belgium.

After riding most of the race alone in second, Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) suffered a mechanical on the penultimate lap, which allowed Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) to bridge to him. He then missed the entrance to pit and turned around on course to go back to the entrance. The move was legal because he had not yet passed the exit of the pit.

Van Aert’s debacle with pitting also allowed Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea) back into the fray.

After seemingly being off the podium, van der Haar was able to bridge to and then attack Sweeck to capture the second position. Van Aert was able to re-pass Sweeck to salvage the podium and finish third.

Top 10

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED) BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:02:41
  • 2. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:03:20
  • 3. Wout Van Aert, (BEL) CRELAN-CHARLES, 1:03:31
  • 4. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL) ERA-CIRCUS, 1:03:56
  • 5. David Van Der Poel, (NED) BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:04:10
  • 6. Daan Soete, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:04:11
  • 7. Quinten Hermans, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:04:28
  • 8. Michael Vanthourenhout, (BEL) MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:04:41
  • 9. Vincent Baestaens, (BEL), 1:04:53
  • 10. Jens Adams, (BEL) PAUWELS SAUZEN-VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:04:59

The third stop of the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup visited the hallowed sand dunes of Koksijde. Riders were happy conditions were suitable to race, though it was a bit chilly, as last year a monstrous wind storm whipped-up overnight and made conditions impossible, forcing the organizers to cancel the event.

After the first sand run-up, it appeared a duel may unfold on the dunes of Koksijde. Van der Poel and van Aert had launched out the gate, separating themselves from the pack early. European champion Toon Aerts had managed to join them as well, but he was dispatched on the second lap.

Van Aert was unable to match the pace of van der Poel through the sand sections and thus the Dutchman slipped away. The world champion trailed the world cup leader by seven seconds at the end of lap two with Sweeck and van der Haar teaming up to lead the chase.

The chasing duo would make the junction to van Aert on the third of nine laps and the trio would be stuck together for some time. Halfway through the race van der Poel’s advantage had grown to 40 seconds and there seemed to be no hope for the trio having a chance at victory.

However, a van Aert attack on the sixth lap shattered the group. All of the sudden the chasing trio was no longer a group, but three individual riders with van Aert leading, followed by Sweeck, and then van der Haar.

Van Aert, also the Belgian national champion, came charging down the finishing straight into three laps to go. He shed 10 seconds off van der Poel’s lead that lap and with the way he was riding it appeared the victory was not of the question. Nevertheless, van der Poel would put down the power and produce one of his fastest laps of the race on the very next lap, ending the possibility of van Aert bridging the gap.

With two laps to go, van Aert was comfortably in second with Sweeck holding down the third spot and van der Haar desperately trying to bridge to have a shot at a podium place.

Suddenly, disaster struck van Aert. His gears jammed and he was forced to run with the bike. He stopped briefly and unblocked his gears, but this allowed Sweeck to pass him. His foul luck was not over though, as he missed the entrance to the pit and was forced to quickly backtrack. A commissaire watched the incident occur and made sure it was legal, which it was.

Van der Haar was also able to get by and then finally made the junction to Sweeck. He quickly attacked Sweeck to move into second position, a spot that seemed almost unimaginable less than two minutes before.

Van Aert isn’t a two-time world champion for nothing and he was able to keep his cool and move back past Sweeck for the final podium position.

The white and red of van der Poel’s world cup leader jersey didn’t appear to have any dirt on it at all, evident of a flawless race. He calmly zipped up his jersey and stuck a finger to the sky as he crossed the line. He is undefeated through the first three rounds of the world cup this year and seems well on his way to capturing the overall title for the first time.

Van der Haar held off van Aert for second with the world champion reduced to the third spot after hi late mechanical. Sweeck came home in fourth.

The Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup continues on November 19 in Bogense, Denmark, a first-time host venue.

Full results

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED) BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:02:41
  • 2. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:03:20
  • 3. Wout Van Aert, (BEL) CRELAN-CHARLES, 1:03:31
  • 4. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL) ERA-CIRCUS, 1:03:56
  • 5. David Van Der Poel, (NED) BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:04:10
  • 6. Daan Soete, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:04:11
  • 7. Quinten Hermans, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:04:28
  • 8. Michael Vanthourenhout, (BEL) MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:04:41
  • 9. Vincent Baestaens, (BEL), 1:04:53
  • 10. Jens Adams, (BEL) PAUWELS SAUZEN-VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:04:59
  • 11. Toon Aerts, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:05:08
  • 12. Kevin Pauwels, (BEL) MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:05:17
  • 13. Dieter Vanthourenhout, (BEL) MARLUX-NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:05:54
  • 14. Corne Van Kessel, (NED) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:06:15
  • 15. Philipp Walsleben, (GER) BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:06:28
  • 16. Diether Sweeck, (BEL) ERA-CIRCUS, 1:06:28
  • 17. Gianni Vermeersch, (BEL) STEYLAERTS-BETFIRST, 1:06:29
  • 18. Wietse Bosmans, (BEL) ERA-CIRCUS, 1:06:32
  • 19. Klaas Vantornout, (BEL) MARLUX-NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:06:51
  • 20. Tom Meeusen, (BEL) BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:06:59
  • 21. Yorben Van Tichelt, (BEL) ERA-CIRCUS, 1:07:20
  • 22. Tim Merlier, (BEL) CRELAN-CHARLES, 1:07:28
  • 23. Jim Aernouts, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:07:32
  • 24. Steve Chainel, (FRA) TEAM CHAZAL CANYON, 1:07:37
  • 25. Marcel Meisen, (GER) STEYLAERTS-BETFIRST, 1:08:07
  • 26. Nicolas Cleppe, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:08:16
  • 27. Twan Van Den Brand, (NED), 1:08:25
  • 28. Simon Zahner, (SUI), 1:08:27
  • 29. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE) PAUWELS SAUZEN-VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:08:27
  • 30. Kevin Suarez Fernandez, (ESP), 1:08:38
  • 31. Ian Field, (GBR), 1:08:56
  • 32. Felipe Orts Lloret, (ESP) GINESTAR-DELIKIA, 1:09:04
  • 33. Fabien Canal, (FRA), 1:09:14
  • 34. Gosse Van Der Meer, (NED) TARTELETTO-ISOREX, 1:09:22
  • 35. Gioele Bertolini, (ITA), 1:09:25
  • 36. Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga IbaÑez, (ESP), 1:09:28
  • 37. Stan Godrie, (NED) CRELAN-CHARLES, 1:10:01
  • 38. Matthieu Boulo, (FRA)
  • 39. Alois Falenta, (FRA)
  • 40. Severin SÄgesser, (SUI)
  • 41. Thijs Van Amerongen, (NED)
  • 42. Nicolas Samparisi, (ITA)
  • 43. Anthonin Didier, (FRA)
  • 44. Lorenzo Samparisi, (ITA)
  • 45. Jeremy Durrin, (USA)
  • 46. Andrew Juiliano, (USA)
  • 47. Glenn Kinning, (IRL)
  • 48. Yu Takenouchi, (JPN)
  • 49. Yannick Mayer, (GER)