Cyclocross

Mathieu van der Poel crashes, Tom Pidcock flashes to Superprestige Boom victory – VeloNews

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The hyped Mathieu van der Poel vs. Tom Pidcock clash didn’t last long Saturday after the Dutch star crashed early in the second lap at Superprestige Boom.

Van der Poel slipped out his front tire on a left-hander coming out of some cobbles, and slammed hard on his left knee. Pidcock, who was right on his wheel, could not avoid falling as well.

Van der Poel limped through the next few laps, and never regained the momentum. But he did manage to stay in the race, signaling that he was not seriously injured, and keeping the clash of the “Big Three” on track for Sunday at the Antwerp World Cup stop.

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Pidcock shook off the mishap, and powered back into the lead, and never looked back to his most impressive victory so far in his 2022-23 cyclocross campaign.

In the women’s race, Aniek Van Alphen powered to victory (see more below).

Van der Poel crashed early, taking down Pidcock. (Photo: GCN+)

Pidcock powers to near-perfect win

With Van der Poel out of the frame, no one could stay close to Pidcock on the fast, technical course loaded up with short, punchy ramps that favored Pidcock’s featherweight build.

The world champion kept snatching away a few seconds here and a few more there to ride comfortably in the closing laps.

Pidcock continued to set a searing pace to convert the race one for the places of honor behind him. Following a broken wheel at Hulst last weekend, Saturday went as smooth as things can go in cyclocross.

Behind him, the race was on for the leftovers. Van der Poel eventually crossed in 13th. Lars van der Haar was second, with Eli Iserbyt taking third.

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Aniek Van Alphen wins big in Boom

Aniek Van Alphen celebrates after her big win at Boom. (Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Aniek Van Alphen blazed to victory in the women’s race.

She out-kicked series co-leader Denise Betsema in a thrilling finale to a hard-fought race. Shirin Van Androoij crossed the line third at 27 seconds back to round out the podium.

“The last time I won like this was more than two years ago. I thought it was about time and I am very happy that I was able to win,” Van Alphen said. “It went really well today. I really got morale because I overtook so many riders.

“I knew I had the best chance if I got through that sandbox first,” she said. “I’m not a sprinter at all, but luckily Denise isn’t either. I just managed to keep it up to the finish.”

Series co-leader Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado struggled, and finished a distant seventh at 2:23 back. Lucinda Brand, another pre-race favorite, did not finish.

With Alvarado lost in the bunch, the podium spot put Betsema into the Superprestige series lead.

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Saturday’s race was contested at Tomorrowland, site of one of Europe’s biggest music festivals. (Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)