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After a bad start, van der Poel won the World Cup race in Zeven in dominant fashion; Van Aert finished second and retained the overall lead

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KEVIN PAUWELS

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MATHIEU VAN DER POEL

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WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - CROSS

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WOUT VAN AERT

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26.11.2016 @ 16:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mathieu Van der Poel has won the fourth round of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup. The Dutchman had a very bad start in the German city of Zeven, but after a fast chase, he proved to be stronger than Wout van Aert. Kevin Pauwels finished third.

 

Due to the cancellation of the Duinencross in Koksijde, the fourth World Cup race was held today in the German city of Zeven. It was the first German World Cup race since 2003. Wout van Aert started with a comfortable overall advantage over Laurens Sweeck while archrival Van der Poel was down in 19th place due to his injury problems at the beginning of the season.

 

In the cold temperatures, Tom Meeusen led the troops in the opening lap, with Wout Van Aert and Michael Vanthourenhout in his slipstream while Mathieu Van der Poel had a very bad start and found himself in the middle of the pack. Van Aert saw his chance to get rid of his main rival early in the race and set a brutal pace. Only Meeusen could stay in his wheel.

 

After two laps, the duo had an advantage of 10 seconds over of a large group with Vanthourenhout, Toon Aerts and Kevin Pauwels while a fast-chasing Van der Poel followed just behind. In the sand, he quickly rejoined the group. It was time for Van Aert to up the pace and Tom Meeusen could not match his compatriot.

 

After three laps, Van Aert was the lone leader, andMeeusen followed at 8 seconds. Behind the two Belgians Mathieu Van der Poel led the chasing group, fifteen seconds behind the world champion. The Dutchman was now riding at full gas, quickly dropped and soon joined Meeusen. In fact, he took the lead over and continued to chase lone leader Van Aert.

 

Halfway through the race, the inevitable happened: Van der Poel joined rival Van der Poel. After a long chase the Dutchman needed a brief moment to recover, but three laps from the end he had had enough rest to demonstrate his superiority: on a short and very steep climb, Van der Poel rode Van Aert off his wheel and quickly built a comfortable lead.

 

One lap later, Van der Poel was already riding tempo and controlling the race with apparent ease. The Dutchman rode to a dominant victory in the World Cup but with his second place, Van Aert defended the lead in the standings. In the background, Kevin Pauwels passed Tom Meeusen and took the third podium spot.

 

For Van der Poel, it was the eighth win of the season and so he adds excitement to the World Cup. Van Aert won the first two races in the United States (Las Vegas and Iowa) in the beginning of the season while Van der Poel the strongest in Valkenburg a little more than a month ago. He skipped the first two races due to injury. The sixth round will take place on Citadel of Namur on December 18.

 

There will be no time to rest as the Flandriencross in Hamme, the third round of the DVV Trofee, takes place tomorrow. Van Aert also leads that series as Van der Poel had an off-day in the Koppenbergcross.

 

Result

  1. 1. Mathieu van der Poel 1.03.21
  2. 2. Wout van Aert +0.21
  3. 3. Kevin Pauwels +0.31
  4. 4. Tom Meeusen +0.53
  5. 5. Clement Venturini +1.08
  6. 6. Laurens Sweeck +1.24
  7. 7. Corne Van Kessel +1.32
  8. 8. Gianni Vermeersch +1.38
  9. 9. Michael Vanthourenhout +1.53
  10. 10. Marcel Meisen +1.59

 

Overall standings

  1. 1. Wout van Aert 230
  2. 2. Laurens Sweeck 174
  3. 3. Michael Vanthourenhout 166
  4. 4. Kevin Pauwels 164
  5. 5.Toon Aerts 154
  6. 6. Tom Meeusen 137
  7. 7. Gianni Vermeersch 126
  8. 8. Tim Merlier 118
  9. 9. Dieter Vanthourenhout 117
  10. 10. Jim Aernouts 113 

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