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After an exciting duel, van der Poel beat van Aert in the Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde; Sweeck completed the podium and van der Poel extended the overall lead

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MATHIEU VAN DER POEL

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SUPERPRESTIGE

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WOUT VAN AERT

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06.11.2016 @ 17:04 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mathieu van der Poel also won the third round of the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde. He was the strongest in a captivating duel with his arch-rival Wout Van Aert who had to let the Dutchman go after a fatal bike change and then had a mechanical in the final part of the race. After previous victories in both Zonhoven as Gieten, Van der Poel of course leads in the standings. Van Aert was second in every race and is just 3 points behind. Laurens Sweeck finished third and is also third overall.

 

Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel slkippted the Soudal Classics race in Sint-Niklaas on Saturday. After the off-day of the Dutchman in the Koppenbergcross where he was only 15th, Van der Poel had to make things right. However, it was the world champion who immediately took the initiative on in Ruddervoorde where there were constant turns. Michael Vanthournhout was in the wheel of the world champion while Mathieu van der Poel had to pull the chestnuts out of the fire but ended up in front in the second lap.

 

Van der Poel threw his gloves off and hit the sand as the first rider. Van Aert chose a different line and a big gap opened up. The two stars had gone away and so we got the expected and anticipated clash. Behind them, the others had to fight for the minor places.

 

Mathieu van der Poel zigzagged as an accomplished skier through the corners while it was difficult for Wout van Aert. The two stars made a thrilling duel because Van Aert continued to put the Dutchman under pressure and at the start of the fourth lap there was a gap of four seconds

 

In a huge duel, the difference was small but both of them made mistakes on the tough course. Just before halfway point, Van Aert got back. Laurens Sweeck was third at more than twenty seconds and Lars van der Haar was in fourth.

 

In the sand section, Van Aert got a gap of a few bike lengths. The two charts fought hard for every inch and the spectators were treated to a great duel between the Big Two.

 

In the fifth lap, Van Aert opted for a bike change, allowing Van der Poel again to get a few seconds. The Dutchman did not hesitate and immediately increased his lead. At the start of the seventh lap, Van Aert was six seconds behind.

 

It got even more exciting when Van der Poel crashed. But the Dutchman remained calm, barely lost time and then rode away again. It was even too fast as he slipped out in a later turn. Van Aert got back to only two seconds but Van der Poel did not look back, accelerated again, and kept the world champion at bay.

 

In the last lap, Van der Poel made no mistakes and soloed to victory. He succeeds Kevin Pauwels who beat the youngster in last year’s race but had to be content with fourth place. Van Aert was set back by a mechanical and settled for second place. Laurens Sweeck was third, one minute behind Van der Poel.

 

Result

1. Mathieu van der Poel

2. Wout van Aet

3. Laurens Sweeck

4. Kevin Pauwels

5. Jens Adams

6. Toon Aerts.

7. David van der Poel

8. Tim Merlier

9. Klaas Vantornout

10. Dieter Vanthourenhout

 

Overall standings

1. Mathieu van der Poel 45

2. Wout Van Aert 42

3. Laurens Sweeck 39

4. Jens Adams 33

5. Klaas Vantornout 28

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