Weekend ‘cross wrap: Van der Poel doubles up, Brand, Verdonschot take women’s

The weekend saw van der Poel continue to dominate the men's 'cross season in racing at DVV Trofee and Silvermeercross

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) took his eighth and ninth wins of the ‘cross season over the weekend at the DVV Trofee and Zilvermeercross. The events also saw wins for Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise Lions) and Laura Verdonschot (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal).

Van der Poel opened his account for the weekend at the DVV Trofee Urban Cross in Kortrijk, Saturday. The dominant Dutchman played it patiently through the opening three-quarters of the race, sitting in a large lead group that formed early on rather than surging away early as he had done in previous outings.

Around 15 riders formed at the front in the opening laps of the twisting and technical course in a town-center park and van der Poel chose to sit in and watch his rivals.

The world champion chose his moment with around three laps remaining and simply surged away, with no-one able to follow his wheel. Van der Poel took the race by 27 seconds, with Tim Merlier (Creafin-Fristads) and Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) taking second and third.

Having seemingly toyed with his rivals on Saturday, van der Poel and his teammates simply blew them away at Zilvermeercross, Sunday. Corendon-Circus took all three podium spots, with Tom Meeusen and Mathieu’s older brother David van der Poel taking third.

The van der Poel brothers piled the pressure on in the opening laps of the heavy sandy course and forced a split with only three riders, including teammate Meeusen, staying in contact. The van der Poels continued to dominate through the race,  both off the front for large periods of time before brief spells where rivals were able to make contact.

Mathieu powered away from the front group of four in the final lap to win by five seconds, with his teammates coming in shortly behind him to complete the podium.

Lucinda Brand won it with a sprint in the DVV Trofee, charging past Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) in a perfectly-timed move.

The pair broke free from a group that contained Sanne Cant (IKO), Annemarie Worst, and Yara Kastelijn (both 777) around midway through the race.  Alvarado had been aggressive through the race and led out the sprint, but Brand was able to use her road skills and acumen to time her winning sprint to perfection. Worst took third, 17 seconds behind the winner.

Laura Verdonschot (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) won from a reduced field at Zilvermeercross, Sunday. Shirin van Anrooij was second and Inge van der Heijden (CCC) took third.

Van Anrooij and Manon Bakker (Experza) led the opening half of the race but Verdonschot worked her way back to the lead pair with half the race remaining.  She formed a lead trio with van Anrooij and van der Heijden in the closing laps and pulled away from her rivals in the final circuit to win by 18 seconds.