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Cyclocross

Guess what? Wout van Aert wins again at Superprestige Gullegem

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado dominates women's race, closes in on Superprestige title

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Another weekend, another win for Wout van Aert.

Van Aert topped the podium for a seventh time this winter in a mucky, sandy circuit in Gullegem on Saturday.

The Belgian champion blew back a field of cyclocross specialists as he carries momentum out of what was a crushing Christmas ‘cross campaign.

“Of course I’m pleased,” a mud-splattered Van Aert said at the finish. “The last two weeks went really well. I had a couple of nice victories. Races like the Superprestige at Diegem, they were always hard for me to win, and this winter I succeeded. And here in Gullegem, it’s the first time I won here.”

Van Aert is set for a short session on the sofa before he clashes Sunday with Mathieu van der Poel in the huge sandpits of the Zonhoven World Cup.

Earlier in the day Saturday, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado scored assured victory in the women’s race as she closes in on overall victory of the Superprestige series.

The 2019-20 world champion wasn’t letting her stoke be snuffed by the fact her victory was in the absence of season sensations Fem van Empel and Puck Pieterse.

“It is always very satisfying to win, no matter who is at the start. You have to do it yourself anyway,” Alvarado said. “It is very nice that we succeeded today.”

Guess what? Wout van Aert wins again

It was another muddy one in Belgium on Saturday.

Wout van Aert brushed off some strong early resistance from specialists Eli Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout in Guellegem.

The Belgian champion powered away from the two Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal teammates on the fifth and sixth of nine circuits of a heavy, boggy course that was drenched with rain shortly before the men’s start.

Van Aert rode solo – albeit not faultlessly – through the final circuits to deliver another crushing performance in a season that has so far seen him win seven races from 10.

Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout rounded out the podium, more than 20 seconds back. Lars van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) finished fourth, enough to retain his overall lead in the series over Vanthourenhout.

U.S. champion Curtis White finished 10th for his best European result of the winter.

Neither van der Poel nor Tom Pidock were racing Saturday as the specialists battled for the Superprestige overall. Van der Poel is expected to be back in action in Zonhoven on Sunday after getting the all-clear following his mid-week back problems.

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado goes solo to close in on Superprestige title

Alvarado won a balloon bike Saturday. Better than flowers?

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin Deceuninck) scored solo victory over Inge van der Heijden (777) and Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen Bingoal) to land her fourth Superprestige victory of the season and close in on the overall title.

Alvarado’s 30+ second victory puts her squarely back in the winning groove after struggling to hit her lines in an off-par season last winter.

The former world champion rode clear midway through Saturday’s race and romped to a dominant win that puts her four points clear of nearest chaser Van der Heijden with just one event remaining in the eight-race Superprestige series.

Zoe Bäckstedt (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) continued to ride behind her age category by hitting into fourth in the flat, boggy Belgian race. The result is the 18-year-old’s seventh top-5 of the season.

Fem van Empel and Puck Pieterse both sat out the race ahead of the World Cup round Sunday.

Results powered by FirstCycling.com