Events

GP Mario De Clercq: Van Aert wins after van der Poel mechanical

World champ Wout Van Aert takes victory in Ronse after race-leading Mathieu van der Poel suffers late mechanical

Wout Van Aert (Crelan – Vastgoedservice) successfully defended his title at Sunday’s GP Mario De Clercq in Ronse, Belgium, overcoming early mechanical problems to take the clear win — with a big assist from Mathieu van der Poel’s own mechanical troubles.

Though van der Poel (Beobank – Corendon) enjoyed a healthy lead through seven laps, he saw his chances fall apart with a mechanical in the eighth lap. Forced to jog to the pit, van der Poel watched Van Aert sail past, along with Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux – Napoleon Games) and Jens Adams (Crelan – Vastgoedservice). No one managed to catch Van Aert from that point onward, with the Belgian taking the victory in the first race of the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee (formerly known as the BPost Bank Trofee) series by 31 seconds. Adams nabbed second, with Vanthourenhout in third and van der Poel left to settle for fourth.

Top 10

  • 1. Wout VAN AERT, (BEL), 1:02:01
  • 2. Jens ADAMS, (BEL), 1:02:32
  • 3. Michael VANTHOURENHOUT, (BEL), 1:02:37
  • 4. Mathieu VAN DER POEL, (NED), 1:02:56
  • 5. Kevin PAUWELS, (BEL), 1:02:59
  • 6. Lars VAN DER HAAR, (NED), 1:03:05
  • 7. Toon AERTS, (BEL), 1:03:16
  • 8. Klaas VANTORNOUT, (BEL), 1:03:34
  • 9. Tom MEEUSEN, (BEL), 1:03:34
  • 10. Gianni VERMEERSCH, (BEL), 1:03:39

Van Aert looked strong in the very early goings of the race, getting a small gap off the front ahead of Vanthourenhout and a mostly compact group of chasers before a mechanical dropped him back several places.

Van der Poel and Vanthourenhout jumped off the front and built a small advantage in the fourth lap, and then Van der Poel surged into the race lead solo as Van Aert sustained a chain problem in the chasing pack behind. Van der Poel forged a healthy gap over the ensuing laps, with his advantage topping out at 30 seconds before everything fell apart in lap eight.

After working his way back to the front of the chasers, Van Aert was just beginning to pull away in solo pursuit of van der Poel when the Dutchman suffered an equipment failure of his own, breaking his pedal going up a small grassy incline. Forced to jog to the pit, the 2015 world champion lost the advantage to his Belgian successor, falling behind Vanthourenhout and Adams as well by the time he was on a new bike and back onto the course proper.

Van Aert cruised through the final few laps in strong form to extend his lead with no serious challenge from the chasers behind. The reigning world champ ultimately crossed the finish line over half a minute ahead of the chasers to take the win.

Results

  • 1. Wout VAN AERT, (BEL), 1:02:01
  • 2. Jens ADAMS, (BEL), 1:02:32
  • 3. Michael VANTHOURENHOUT, (BEL), 1:02:37
  • 4. Mathieu VAN DER POEL, (NED), 1:02:56
  • 5. Kevin PAUWELS, (BEL), 1:02:59
  • 6. Lars VAN DER HAAR, (NED), 1:03:05
  • 7. Toon AERTS, (BEL), 1:03:16
  • 8. Klaas VANTORNOUT, (BEL), 1:03:34
  • 9. Tom MEEUSEN, (BEL), 1:03:34
  • 10. Gianni VERMEERSCH, (BEL), 1:03:39
  • 11. Corne VAN KESSEL, (NED), 1:03:55
  • 12. Tim MERLIER, (BEL), 1:04:04
  • 13. Wietse BOSMANS, (BEL), 1:04:05
  • 14. Dieter VANTHOURENHOUT, (BEL), 1:04:06
  • 15. Thijs VAN AMERONGEN, (NED), 1:04:06
  • 16. Laurens SWEECK, (BEL), 1:04:31
  • 17. Philipp WALSLEBEN, (GER), 1:05:04
  • 18. Twan VAN DEN BRAND, (NED), 1:05:23
  • 19. Jim AERNOUTS, (BEL), 1:05:45
  • 20. Patrick VAN LEEUWEN, (NED), 1:05:58
  • 21. Jens VANDEKINDEREN, (BEL), 1:06:08
  • 22. Michael BOROS, (CZE), 1:06:28
  • 23. Quincy VENS, (BEL), 1:06:31
  • 24. Javier RUIZ DE LARRINAGA IBANEZ, (ESP), 1:06:37
  • 25. Rob PEETERS, (BEL), 1:06:54
  • 26. Mariusz GIL, (POL), 1:07:32
  • 27. Vincent BAESTAENS, (BEL), 1:08:35
  • 28. Dario TIELEN, (BEL)
  • 29. Mathieu WILLEMYNS, (BEL)
  • 30. Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE, (BEL)
  • 31. Caleb THOMPSON, (USA)