Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) and Annemarie Worst (777) took the wins at the DVV Trofee Series, Hamme, on Sunday.
The pair’s victories saw them doubling up on their successes at the World Cup, Tabor, just 24 hours earlier.
The Belgian race was the second round of the DVV Trofee after the Koppenbergcross at the start of the month. The early portion of the race was set on hard, dry grass packed with technical features and moved onto a fast, flowing back-half.
No stopping van der Poel
Having been pushed hard to take victory at the World Cup on Saturday, van der Poel was on rampant form at Hamme, his fourth consecutive win on the course.
Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise-Lions) was the only rider to hold on to a blistering start by van der Poel, with a bunch of eight riders distanced by a few seconds as early as the first lap.
Van der Poel led the front pair throughout the early part of the race, with Aerts rarely capable of coming around the world champion. The group behind included Eli Iserbyt, Laurens Sweeck (both Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), Tim Merlier (Creafin-Fristads) and Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal). The chase bunch remained locked together as they fought each other and failed to eat into the gap to Aerts and van der Poel.
The relentless pressure from van der Poel dropped Aerts on lap four, and Sweeck bridged across from the chase group to form a pair with Aerts.
Sweeck moved past Aerts in the back half of the race and chased hard after van der Poel, but the race leader looked faultless as he moved through the course with ease.
Behind Sweeck, Aerts was joined by Merlier with two laps to go and the pair battled for third. However, Aerts’ race was derailed on the penultimate lap when an issue with his chain caused him to stop repeatedly, leaving him to finish in 10th.
Sweeck chased 10 seconds behind van der Poel through the close of the race, and only started to lose time on the rampant van der Poel in the final lap. Van der Poel took the win by 40 seconds as he pushed all the way to the line to make up time in the series overall.
Iserbyt had a rare quiet day and was never in contention for the win. He still placed in fifth nonetheless, having battled Lars van der Haar (Telenet Baloise-Lions) in the final laps.
- Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): 1:01:46
- Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): +0:00:40
- Tim Merlier (Creafin-Fristads): +0:01:03
Worst fastest of the four
Worst won a fierce four-way fight in a thrilling women’s race.
Worst, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) and Sanne Cant (IKO-Crelan) formed at trio at the front of the race in the first lap having hit a furious pace from the gun. They were joined by Yara Kastelijn (777) and Ellen van Loy (Telenet Baloise-Lions) in the following lap through the twisting, technical course.
Alvarado rode aggressively at the front of the pack through the middle of the race, punching out of the tight bends time after time. The high pace and concertina effect through all the tight bends put pay to van Loy, who was distanced by lap three.
Worst, Alvarado, Cant, and Kastelijn remained locked together for the closing part of the race, with Worst riding confidently on the front through most of the final laps. Worst continued pushing the pace through the closing lap and the gaps between the four top riders started to extend.
Cant remained closest of the three to the leader as Alvarado and Kastelijn allowed a small gap to open. Although Cant was able to hold on to the charging Worst, there was no coming around her as she took her second win of the weekend by two seconds. The victory also gave her overall lead of the DVV series.
Alvarado pipped Kastelijn to the final sprint for third, six seconds back on the race-winner.
Americans Katie Keough and Katherine Compton finished 13th and eighth respectively.
Women’s Top 3:
- Annemarie Worst (777): 0:40:29
- Sanne Cant (IKO-Crelan: +0:00:02
- Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus): +0:00:06