The fourth round of the Superprestige series saw a dominant day for Corendon-Circus, with wins for their riders Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Mathieu Van der Poel.
Alvarado led through the race to take her second win in the Superprestige series, while van der Poel won his first race back on the cyclocross bike having had a break after the road season.
The technical course was full of off-camber banking, stairs, bridges and sand sections. The grass had been reduced to boggy mud after recent rain, and the course got heavier as the racing progressed.
In the women’s race, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) accelerated early in the first lap to take the lead, and never relinquished her grip on the lead through the race. She rode confidently through the race to take her second win of the series after also winning the opener at Gieten.
Sanne Cant (IKO) chased hard alone through the closing laps, though was never able to make the catch, and settled for second, a return to form after her 14th place at Gavere last weekend.
Multiple U.S. national champion Katie Compton (Trek) had a slow start and had to work her way through the field to get to the action. She emerged from the pack to battle Kaitie Keough (Cannondale) for third. Compton was able to show her experience in the final laps as she distanced Keough through the increasingly boggy course to take third.
- Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus): 0:47:15
- Sanne Cant (IKO): +0:00:19
- Katie Compton (Trek): +0:00:38
The much-anticipated battle between Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) and Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) – who has dominated the season so far – kicked off early. The pair were fastest out of the gate and led the field through the opening round.
Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) joined the battle at the front in the second lap, with Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) and Tim Merlier (Creafin-Fristads) not far behind. Iserbyt, Sweeck and van der Poel constantly swapped position at the front through the first half of the race.
Van der Poel accelerated clear on the third lap, with only Sweeck able to match him. Aerts held third. Iserbyt fell back to fourth, where he fought Merlier and U23 champion Tom Pidcock (Trinity).
Van der Poel and Sweeck went head-to-head for around a lap, but the Belgian eventually fell off the pace and the world champion rode clear and never looked back. Van der Poel showed no signs of rustiness after a long break from cyclocross as he rode faultlessly throughout the end of the race, and had the confidence to pull a tailwhip over the final bridge.
Sweeck chased after van der Poel in a strong display and kept the race leader to around 30 seconds, but was never able to bridge the gap, leaving him to take second.
Aerts rounded out the podium in third. Iserbyt took fifth, behind Merlier.
Van der Poel races again next weekend at the European Championships, Silvelle.
- Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): 1:03:56
- Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): +0:00:23
- Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions): +0:00:36