Zonhoven: van der Poel continues to be untouchable

Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) continued to be untouchable this season, as he handily won the second round of the Telenet Superprestige series in Zonhoven, Belgium on Sunday. After an uncharacteristic slow start, he bridged to the leaders on the fourth lap and promptly attacked them down one of the long sandy descents. He has now won nine of the last 10 Superprestige races dating back to last season.

Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) and Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea) were locked in battle the last few laps of the race with the world champion coming out on top to finish runner-up behind van der Poel.

Top-10

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:07:07
  • 2. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), 1:07:29
  • 3. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED), 1:07:43
  • 4. David Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:08:23
  • 5. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL), 1:08:51
  • 6. Quinten Hermans, (BEL), 1:09:02
  • 7. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE), 1:09:24
  • 8. Toon Aerts, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 9. Jens Adams, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 10. Diether Sweeck, (BEL), 1:09:50

Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) took the holeshot and led the field down the first sandy descent out on course, soon Van Aert took over and went about turning the throttle and seeing who could follow.

By the end of the opening lap, a three-rider lead group had formed with van Aert, Sweeck, and Quinten Hermans (Telenet Fidea). However, a large chase group containing many of the other heavy hitters was in sight with van der Poel, Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea), van der Haar and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napoloean Games) all present.

Early in the second lap, van der Poel lept out of the chase group in pursuit of the leaders. Meanwhile, Sweeck suffered a mechanical near the pits that dropped him from the leaders, as van Aert was attacking. He was able to change bikes quickly and join van der Poel in chasing.

On the fourth lap, Sweeck, van der Poel, Hermans, and van Aert were all together, but not for long. The Dutch national cyclocross champion soon stamped his authority on the race and attacked his fellow leaders down one of the tricky sandy descents. He immediately opened a gap that the others struggled to close.

As the chase group stalled, David van Poel, Mathieu’s brother, took advantage and charged into second place. His time in second would be short-lived though, as once van Aert began to pedal again in earnest he was able to get by the Dutchman.

With six laps to go, van der Poel was comfortably in the lead by about 20 seconds when disaster suddenly struck. His front wheel slipped out on a sandy turn, but he was able to recover quickly and lose minimal time, as van Aert was chasing alone behind.

Van der Haar was finally was able to make his way to the frontend of the race, after being on the back foot for most of the day. He joined van Aert with four laps to go, but the duo did not work well together in trying to bring back van der Poel, who now led by nearly 30 seconds. Van Aert was spending most of the time leading van der Haar.

Hearing the bell for the final lap, van der Poel looked cool and calm and barring a mechanical or crash seemed destined for victory. Behind him, van Aert and van der Haar were still locked in battle, but soon the world champion would have the final say amongst the two. Van Aert attacked hard leading into one of the sandy descent and was able to open a gap. Van der Haar fought hard to get back to the Belgian’s wheel, but another acceleration from van Aert opened the gap once again and he was able to come home in second.

David van Poel was able to limit the losses late in the race and showed he didn’t suffer too much from his early efforts by finishing fourth with Sweeck rounding out the top-five.

The Telenet Superprestige series continues on October 21 in Boom, Belgium.

Full results

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:07:07
  • 2. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), 1:07:29
  • 3. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED), 1:07:43
  • 4. David Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:08:23
  • 5. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL), 1:08:51
  • 6. Quinten Hermans, (BEL), 1:09:02
  • 7. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE), 1:09:24
  • 8. Toon Aerts, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 9. Jens Adams, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 10. Diether Sweeck, (BEL), 1:09:50
  • 11. Tom Meeusen, (BEL), 1:10:27
  • 12. Kevin Pauwels, (BEL), 1:10:59
  • 13. Tim Merlier, (BEL), 1:11:21
  • 14. Daan Hoeyberghs, (BEL), 1:11:48
  • 15. Dieter Vanthourenhout, (BEL), 1:11:53
  • 16. Rob Peeters, (BEL), 1:12:18
  • 17. Gianni Vermeersch, (BEL)
  • 18. Nicolas Cleppe, (BEL)
  • 19. Stan Godrie, (NED)
  • 20. Vincent Baestaens, (BEL)
  • 21. Eli Iserbyt, (BEL)
  • 22. Gioele Bertolini, (ITA)
  • 23. Sander Elen, (BEL)
  • 24. Martin Eriksson, (SWE)
  • 25. Patrick Van Leeuwen, (NED)
  • 26. Jens Vandekinderen, (BEL)
  • 27. David Eriksson, (SWE)
  • 28. Dries Pauwels, (BEL)
  • 29. Niels Koyen, (BEL)
  • 30. Yelle Leaerts, (BEL)
  • 31. Grzegorz Grabarek, (POL)
  • 32. Andrew Juiliano, (USA)
  • . Twan Van Den Brand, (NED)

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Source: Cycling News: Velonews