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After an exciting duel, van der Poel dropped Van Aet in the final lap to win the Scheldecross; Pauwels was third and Van Aert retained the DVV Trofee lead

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KEVIN PAUWELS

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NEWS

MATHIEU VAN DER POEL

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NEWS

WOUT VAN AERT

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NEWS
17.12.2016 @ 16:25 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mathieu van der Poel won the Scheldecross in Antwerp, the fifth round of the DVV Troffe. After a captivating duel, he managed to drop his archrival Wout Van Aert in the final stage. Kevin Pauwels made it surpsiignly exciting and finished third. Van Aert still has a dominant lead in the overall standings.

 

On the fast course at the beach of Sint-Anneke, the race got off to a flying start. Only Tom Meeusen and Klaas Vantornout missed the boat in the beginning. Due to Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel, the pace was kept high and after two laps, a five-rider group had formed. Besides the two main protagonists, Toon Aerts, Kevin Pauwels and Michael Vanthourenthout were still there.

 

In the third lap, van der Poel accelerated at the bars where he jumped smoothly. Van Aert had to respond and the world champion did his job. The pair did not take risks at the bars and dived into the sand section. When they slowed down, the chasers got closer to the five leaders. But Van Aert avoided the comeback with a quick acceleration.

 

In the fifth lap, Van der Poel upped the pace at the start of the small climb and it briefly looked like the race was over. However, Van Aert did not give up. The pair rode away but as the world champion again lowered the pace, Pauwels was the first to get back and a little later we again had five leaders.

 

At the bars, the Dutch champion delivered a show each time but it was Van Aert who took charge in the sand. In the seventh lap, the Big Two finally got away – at least it seemed so.

 

Finally, we got an exciting race. In the sand section, Van Aert always put his eternal rival under pressure and van der Poel did the same in the faster sections and at the bars. And suddenly, Pauwels was back at the front again. When the Dutch champion accelerated hard in the soft sand, it was even Pauwels who closed the gap.

 

For once, the excitement was there all the way to the finish. Pauwels was tactically strong and even picked up the pace when Van Aert and van der Poel was unable to drop each other. However, in the penultimate lap, Van Aert created a gap to Pauwels and as Van der Poel was trapped behind, the Dutch champion could not react immediately. However, the Dutchman rode furiously in pursuit and no one could afford a mistake. In a thrilling finale, the three were back together after the bars.

 

The two champions dived into the sand side-by-side and the race was decided when van der Poel in the final stretch of sand gained a few meters. The Dutchman rode solo to victory ahead of Van Aert and a surprisingly strong Pauwels. With the second place, Van Aert extended his overall DVV Trofee lead as van der Poel is far behind due to a bad day at the Koppenbergcross.

 

Tomorrow the riders will be riding on Wallonian territory for the second time this season at the sixth round of the World Cup in Namur. The race in Koksijde in late November was canceled due to bad weather. The first two races in the United States were won by Wout van Aert while the victories in Valkenburg and Zeven went to Mathieu van der Poel. Van der Poel has twelve victories while Van Aert has ten but the world champion has a clear lead in the standings.

 

Result:

1. Mathieu van der Poel 1.05.31

2. Wout Van Aert +0.04

3. Kevin Pauwels +0.06

4. Laurens Sweeck +0.09

5. Jens Adams +0.10

6. Michael Vanthourenhout +0.12

7. Toon Aerts +0.16

8. Corne van Kessel +0.52

9. Tim Merlier +1.07

10. Vincent Baestaens +1.52

 

Overall standings:

1. Wout Van Aert 4.03.16

2. Kevin Pauwels +2.34

3. Michael Vanthourenhout +3.19

4. Toon Aerts +4.28

5. Corne Van Kessel +4.55

6. Laurens Sweeck +5.24

7. Tom Meeusen +7.04

8. Gianni Vermeersch +8.27

9. Mathieu van der Poel +8.31

10. Jens Adams +8.40

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