Wout Van Aert (Verandas Willems-Crelan) won the eighth round of the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup ahead of German Marcel Meisen and fellow Belgian Tom Meeusen in Fiuggi, Italy on Sunday.
The world champion had to fight in the initial laps of the race with Meisen setting a great pace over the climbs and down the technical descents. However, in the second part of the race, Van Aert opened the throttle and the others had to struggle just to reserve their own positions.
The 22-year-old reigning world champion is now guaranteed to win the overall series with just one final race to be held in Hoogerheide (NED) on January 22.
“I am very happy with that,” said Van Aert. “It is a very good thing to go into the last round of the World Cup next week without any stress for the overall classification so we can really focus for the worlds from now on.”
When asked about a crash involving rival countryman Toon Aerts, Van Aert sent his regards.
“I heard he made a bad crash on a tricky downhill section,” he said. “I hope Toon is well.”
In men’s under-23 action, 19-year-old Eli Iserbyt (BEL) of Marlux-Napoleon Games took first in a time of 49:34, 18 seconds ahead of Italian Gioele Bertolini and fellow Belgian Quinten Hermans.
- 1. Wout VAN AERT, VERANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN, in 1:05:03
- 2. Marcel MEISEN, at :18
- 3. Tom MEEUSEN, TELENET-FIDEA LIONS, at :27
- 4. Kevin PAUWELS, MARLUX-NAPOLEON GAMES, at :39
- 5. Tim MERLIER, VERANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN, at :46
- 6. Michael VANTHOURENHOUT, MARLUX-NAPOLEON GAMES, at 1:12
- 7. Klaas VANTORNOUT, MARLUX-NAPOLEON GAMES, at 1:16
- 8. Lars VAN DER HAAR, TELENET-FIDEA LIONS, at 1:24
- 9. Jim AERNOUTS, TELENET-FIDEA LIONS, at 1:27
- 10. Corne VAN KESSEL, TELENET-FIDEA LIONS, at 1:42