Cyclocross

Van der Poel Zooms to 2019 World Cup Zolder Victory – Report, Results – Cyclocross Magazine

The seventh round of the World Cup was held in the Belgian city of Zolder on Thursday. It was a cold afternoon for the annual Boxing Day race at the Circuit Zolder speedway. As often happens at the race track in Zolder, race speeds were appropriately fast.

Belgian National Champion Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) was leading the World Cup standings, but because of a crash in the previous World Cup race, he had to start with a few broken ribs today. World Champion Mathieu Van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) started from the second row of the grid.

It was Belgian Road National Champion Tim Merlier (Creafin-Fristads) who lead the pack at the beginning of the race.

Things didn’t start well for wounded World Cup leader Aerts. Three-time World Champion Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck Quick-Step) faced a problem in one of the first corners and suddenly came to a standstill. Aerts not expecting that went down and suddenly was in last position.

A nine-man leading group passed the finish line for the first time with a few seconds advantage on a first chasing group lead by Van der Poel. At the end of the second lap, Van der Poel still found himself chasing, the leading group this time being formed by Quinten Hermans (Telenet Baloise Lions), Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal), Corné van Kessel (Telenet Baloise Lions), Merlier and Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal).

When Van der Poel and Lars van der Haar (Telenet Baloise Lions) closed the gap, the pace dropped. It allowed several other riders to take a place at the front of the race too.

Mathieu van der Poel had to chase back to the fast-starting group early on. 2019 World Cup Zolder. © B. Hazen / Cyclocross Magazine

Van der Poel then took the lead for the first time and couldn’t have chosen a better time, as several riders crashed behind him on the finishing straight. The pack, already broken up because of the crash, then saw Van der Poel attacking. A gap opened up right away when Van Kessel had issues with his shifting in the technical section at the end of the lap.

Van der Poel soon had a 13-second advantage on a chasing group formed by Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen Bingoal), Hermans, Vanthourenhout, Merlier, Gianni Vermeersch (Creafin Fristads) and Iserbyt. Iserbyt then got dropped and Merlier crashed a little later. The chasing group was all of a sudden reduced to four riders.
Van der Poel then riding the fastest lap so far, the chasers saw their arrear go up to 18 seconds.

Mathieu van der Poel attacked and broke free to go solo off the front. 2019 World Cup Zolder. © B. Hazen / Cyclocross Magazine

With still a few laps left, another win for Van der Poel seemed to be a certainty already. Van der Poel solidified his advantage in the remaining laps to take the win.

“It is one of the toughest races to be alone at the front because of the long straights. If you have a chasing group behind you that can work together a little bit, it’s really hard to keep the gap. I was surprised that I managed to get away at my first attempt, but it was definitely not easy to keep the gap.”

Mathieu van der Poel celebrates his Zolder win. 2019 World Cup Zolder. © B. Hazen / Cyclocross Magazine

Sweeck beat Hermans in the sprint for second. Vanthourenhout finished fourth, Vermeersch fifth.

Aerts managed to ride from DLF to 14th and keep his lead in the World Cup standings.

Elite Men’s podium: Mathieu van der Poel, Laurens Sweeck and Quinten Hermans. 2019 World Cup Zolder. © B. Hazen / Cyclocross Magazine

American riders Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) and Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano) finished 30th, 38th and 46th. Drew Juiliano (Voler Pro CX / Cure IBD p/b Shimano) finished 52nd, Max Judelson (Voler / Easton / HRS / Rock Lobster) 54th and Andrew Giniat (Pony Shop CX) 58th.

Canadian rider Michael van den Ham (Easton-Giant p/b Transitions LifeCare) finished 37th and Cameron Jette finished 59th.

Full results are below.

Rank BIB Last Name First Name Country Result
1 1 VAN DER POEL Mathieu NED 1:02:22
2 13 SWEECK Laurens BEL 1:02:28
3 14 HERMANS Quinten BEL 1:02:28
4 12 VANTHOURENHOUT Michael BEL 1:02:31
5 15 VERMEERSCH Gianni BEL 1:02:42
6 3 VAN KESSEL Corne NED 1:02:43
7 16 MERLIER Tim BEL 1:02:43
8 4 NIEUWENHUIS Joris NED 1:02:43
9 2 VAN DER HAAR Lars NED 1:02:59
10 18 AERTS Thijs BEL 1:03:21
11 19 MEEUSEN Tom BEL 1:03:23
12 5 VAN DER POEL David NED 1:03:24
13 11 ISERBYT Eli BEL 1:03:25
14 10 AERTS Toon BEL 1:03:26
15 17 ADAMS Jens BEL 1:03:37
16 20 SWEECK Diether BEL 1:03:56
17 21 AERNOUTS Jim BEL 1:04:26
18 55 RÜEGG Timon SUI 1:04:30
19 22 BAESTAENS Vincent BEL 1:04:41
20 28 MEISEN Marcel GER 1:04:47
21 33 CHAINEL Steve FRA 1:04:54
22 25 VANTHOURENHOUT Dieter BEL 1:04:58
23 6 GODRIE Stan NED 1:05:00
24 8 WOUTERS Sieben NED 1:05:01
25 59 BOROŠ Michael CZE 1:05:03
26 60 NESVADBA Jan CZE 1:05:14
27 29 WEBER Sascha GER 1:05:21
28 34 MENUT David FRA 1:05:22
29 35 DUBAU Joshua FRA 1:05:24
30 51 HYDE Stephen USA 1:05:27
31 26 LOOCKX Lander BEL 1:05:37
32 62 ŠTYBAR Zden?k CZE 1:05:43
33 57 WILDHABER Marcel SUI 1:05:45
34 38 DUBAU Lucas FRA 1:05:46
35 45 ESTEBAN AGUERO Ismael ESP 1:06:01
36 44 SUAREZ FERNANDEZ Kevin ESP 1:06:12
37 65 VAN DEN HAM Michael CAN 1:06:27
38 50 WHITE Curtis USA 1:06:38
39 43 ORTS LLORET Felipe ESP 1:06:50
40 27 MERLIER Braam BEL 1:06:57
41 36 BOULO Matthieu FRA 1:07:06
42 7 VAN DER HEIJDEN Maik NED 1:07:20
43 70 COMINELLI Cristian ITA 1:07:41
44 37 GRAS Yan FRA 1:08:00
45 69 SAMPARISI Nicolas ITA 1:08:00
46 49 WERNER Kerry USA 1:08:45
47 61 PAPRSTKA TomᚠCZE LAP
48 39 TROPARDY Arthur FRA LAP
49 58 MOTTIEZ Gilles SUI LAP
50 46 JUNQUERA SAN MILLAN Mario ESP LAP
51 67 HAUSSLER Heinrich AUS LAP
52 52 JUILIANO Andrew USA LAP
53 72 GLAJZA Ondrej SVK LAP
54 53 JUDELSON Max USA LAP
55 30 HÄHNEL Frederik GER LAP
56 47 ANIA GONZALEZ Daniel ESP LAP
57 42 TURGIS Jimmy FRA LAP
58 54 GINIAT Andrew USA LAP
59 66 JETTE Cameron CAN LAP
60 68 REICHLING Lex LUX LAP
61 48 LLANEZA ARGUELLES Miguel ESP LAP
62 32 EDHOFER Thomas GER LAP
DNF 23 SOETE Daan BEL
DNF 56 ZAHNER Simon SUI
DNF 71 SAMPARISI Lorenzo ITA
DNS 24 CLEPPE Nicolas BEL
DNS 64 ÖSTLUND Jonatan SWE