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  "This was fantastic. Especially the way I managed to win this race was special," Matthieu van der Poel told reporters after the race.  

Photo: Filip Heylesonne/Ridley Bikes








06.10.2014 @ 13:00 Posted by Simon van Besouw



Matthieu van der Poel has won the first race of the Superprestige, which took place yesterday in Gieten, in exciting fashion. The 19-year old Dutchman, who is riding for BKCP-Powerplus, came back from adversity in the second round and managed to catch and surpass his fellow countrymen, Lars van der Haar, in the last round.



Sven Nijs missed his start completely, dropping back to the back of the field after the first turn. He explained what happened after the race to TV Vier, “After we did a one-minute silence for Marc [van Landeghem, press officer of the Superprestige] I thought that we had one minute before the lights went on. So I checked my shoes and helmet, and before I knew it, we were off. But I only have myself to blame.”


Meanwhile, Matthieu van der Poel, Lars van der Haar, Tom Meeusen and Kevin Pauwels were off to a great start. Then, in the middle of the seconds round, van der Poel disappeared from the front. “My chain got stuck and I had to come back from distant position. Luckily, I was able to move up with Sven Nijs”, the young rider told TV Vier.


At the front, Lars van der Haar was determined to make the race hard. After a strong push, only Kevin Pauwels was able to follow his wheel. The two looked destined to ride together to the final round and decide the winner of the race, especially when behind them Telenet-Fidea teammates, Tom Meeusen and Corne van Kessel, crashed and lost severe time. But in the fourth round, Pauwels had to let van de Haar go. “I simply wasn’t good enough”, Pauwels explained after the race to TV Vier.


Van der Poel decided to leave Nijs behind and bridged the gap to Pauwels, “I knew Sven would continue at his own pace, but I went flat out for the victory”, van der Poel told Sporza. Van der Poel quickly dropped Pauwels and his Sunweb-Napolen Games teammate, Klaas Vantornout, and stormed towards van der Haar.


Lars van der Haar was caught back in the final round and left behind in the final sand section. “I tried to make it as hard as possible for him to get back on me, but once he got there, I didn’t have anything left to counter his attack”, the Giant-Shimano rider told TV Vier.


Van der Poel celebrated his first major victory amongst the pros in emotional fashion. “This was fantastic”, the winner of the race told TV Vier. He later added, “It is a big relief. Especially the way I managed to win this race was special. I will never forget this moment.”


In the background, Nijs managed to catch and leave behind the rest of the field and finished in third place. The older brother and teammate of van der Poel, David van der Poel, finished strongly in fourth place, leaving Vantornhout and Pauwels behind him. Phillip Walsleben had a disappointing start of the season and only finished in fourteenth place. 




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