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After van der Poel had left the race on a stretcher, Van Aert made a late attack to win the Azencross ahead of Meeusen and Pauwels; Van Aert extended his lead in the DVV series










29.12.2016 @ 16:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wout van Aert won the Azencross in Loenhout. Tom Meeusen finished second and Kevin Pauwels completed the podium. Mathieu van der Poel crashed heavily in the penultimate lap and was unable to continue. He was removed from the course on a stretcher.


Before the race, most attention was on Zdenek Stybar who made his comeback in Loenhout. The Czech made a strong start and immediately moved up to seventh place. In the second lap, he made a mistake and hit the deck. He immediately got back on his bike but from there he only slipped backwards.


Van der Poel managed to escape and spent a lot of laps alone in front, but Van Aert gave chase and after a long battle, he finally rejoined his archrival.


Like last year, Tom Meeusen was surprisingly strong. Along with Toon Aerts, Corne van Kessel, Kevin Paueels, Michael Vanthournhout, Van der Poel and Van Aert he made up the leading group that gathered after the world champion had closed the gap to van der Poel. In the penultimate lap, Meeusen slipped out in a curve and lost a few seconds. Luckily, he managed to regain connection.


In the penultimate lap, the race was turned on its head when van der Poel crashed dramatically. He didn’t move for several minutes and the incident put a serious damper on the festivities. He was carried off on a stretcher but the extent of his injuries is still unknown.


Toon Aerts started the final lap with an advantage of a bike length but he was soon caught. Van Aert made a final attack and won the race comfortably. Tom Meeusen finished second ahead of Kevin Pauwels.


Van Aert extended his lead in the DVV series ahead of the penultimate round, the famous GP Sven Nys on New Year’s Day.



1. Wout Van Aert 1.01.33

2. Tom Meeusen +0.02

3. Kevin Pauwels +0.03

4. Toon Aerts +0.06

5. Michael Vanthourenhout +0.11

6. Corne Van Kessel +0.22

7. Clement Venturini +0.41

8. Jens Adams +0.55

9. Jim Aernouts +1.01

10. Tim Merlier +1.12


Overall standings

1. Wout Van Aert 6.10.24

2. Kevin Pauwels +2.39

3. Michael Vanthourenhout +3.33

4. Toon Aerts +4.21

5. Corne Van Kessel +6.05

6. Laurens Sweeck +6.51

7. Tom Meeusen +9.34

8. Jens Adams +9.41

9. Gianni Vermeersch +12.42

10. Mathieu van der Poel +13.02



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