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With a dominant ride, Van Aert led the World Cup race in Zolder from start to finish; Sweeck and Pauwels completed the podium while van der Poel had bad luck

Photo: Vastgoedservice-Goldenpalace

CYCLO-CROSS

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WORLD CUP - CROSS

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WOUT VAN AERT

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26.12.2016 @ 16:34 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Wout van Aert has back as a winner after four consecutive second places. The world champion delivered a one-man show at the World Cup in Heusden-Zolder, leading the race from start to finish and ending the race with and advantage of a minute over runner-up Laurens Sweeck. Kevin Pauwels won the sprint for third place ahead of European champion Toon Aerts. Mathieu van der Poel who had problems with his cleat and a puncture, was beaten for the first time in five races. The Dutchman could only manage fourteenth. Lars Boom was eleventh in his comeback.

 

Two Dutchmen returned to the scene in Heusden-Zolder: Lars van der Haar and Lars Boom, the former after a muscle tear, the latter to use cyclo-cross as a means to improve in the spring. Boom had to start far back but had a good start and immediately moved up to eighth, ninth position. Mathieu van der Poel did much worse. He had to put his foot on the ground in one of the first corners and was immediately in chase mode.

 

In front, Wout van Aert saw his chance. He did not wait and immediately went full gas. Only Toon Aerts managed to stay in his wheel for a long time, but the European champion also had to quickly surrender. While Van der Poel's deficit of 21 seconds after round lap still seemed manageable, it all went wrong in the second lap when he had to change shoes. Van der Poel took his time and saw the deficit go out to more than a minute at the start of the third lap.

 

 

No one could do anyhing against Van Aert and it was all about the battle for second place. Aerts fell back due to a puncture and found himself in a group with Meeusen and Vermeersch. Laurens Sweeck took his place. However, the leader of Era-circus did not get closer to Van Aert. Meanwhile, van der Poel slowly made his way back to a group with Vanthournhout, Pauwels, Meeusen and Aerts that followed at 1:56 at the start of the last lap.

 

The Dutchman seemed to take third place, but a puncture in the final lap threw a spanner in the works. He finished far back in 14th place. Van Aert took the win, 1:10 ahead of Sweeck. In the sprint for third place, Pauwels was stronger than Aerts. Lars Boom was eleventh and Lars van der Haar 31st

 

 

Van Aert extended his lead in the overall standings of the World Cup thanks to his third win in the series. Major rival Van der Poel had won the last three World Cup races, but had to miss the first two races due to injury.

 

The eighth and penultimate World Cup race will be held on January 15 in the Italian city of Fiuggi. One week later (January 22), the final round will take place in the Dutch city of Hoogerheide.

 

Result

1. Wout Van Aert 1.05.22

2. Laurens Sweeck +1.10

3. Kevin Pauwles +1.41

4. Toon Aerts

5. Tom Meeusen +1.57

6. Michael Vanthourenhout +2.01

7. Tim Merlier +2.03

8. Jens Adams

9. Corne Van Kessel +2.21

10. David van der Poel +2.25

 

Overall standings

1. Wout Van Aert 450

2. Kevin Pauwels 359

3. Laurens Sweeck 349

4. Tom Meeusen 312

5. Michael Vanthourenhout 306

6. Toon Aerts 301

7. Mathieu van der Poel 277

8. Tim Merlier 239

9. Corne Van Kessel 238

10. Gianni Vermeersch 212

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