The Parkcross-Cyclocross Race in Maldegem traditionally is the first race after the Cyclocross World Championships. And since over ten years, it has also been the first chance for all the defeated to take a little revenge. And never since, a world champion has managed to win here also. That’s how it would end last weekend as well.
Mathieu van der Poel of Team Beobank-Corendon rode like crazy and in superior fashion throughout the race. Together with new and old World Champion Wout van Aert und Kevin Pauwels - the complete Worlds’ podium - he soon was at the head of the race. At the first obstacles Mathieu gained some advantage as he cleared them by jumping rather than running.
From this moment he rode in front all alone and turned his race into a one man show by performing jumps at the bridge. Three laps before the finish his advantage had grown to over a minute. The podium was completed by Michael Vanthourenhout and Tim Merlier from Belgium, who also were able to break-away from van Aerts. The World Champion eventually came in fourth.
Mathieu van der Poel wins his 17th race of the season. ”Today I got rid of some frustration. I am still in very good shape. Yet, it wasn’t that easy to get into the race, but the fans really supported me well.”
Similar to the Worlds’ race Laurens Sweeck, ERA-Circus, finishes in the top ten. He quickly had found his rhythm within the first chase group and eventually came in seventh. In Bieles he had been slowed down by a flat tire and ended up in sixth place. His twin brother Diether came in 14th. Another of van der Poel’s Beobank-Corendon team mates, Wietse Bosmans, finished 8th. David van der Poel completes the quartette in the top ten by coming in tenth aboard his STEVENS Super Prestige.
Sensational Second in the Rainbow Jersey
Also Sanne Cant, Enertherm-Beobank, did not manage to win the Women’s Elite race at the Parkcross-Cyclocross in Maldegem after having become World Champion the week before. Just like in Bieles it was a duel between her and seven-time World Champion Marianne Vos.
But Sanne had a bad start which resulted in the obvious consequences. ”If you have a bad start on this course, you almost have no chance to get to the front”, the current World Champion said, who, riding in the Rainbow Jersey for the first time, tried everything and meanwhile even managed to pass the third Sophie de Boer.
But perhaps it was because of all the appointments and commitments after her victory in the Worlds which may have taken a bit from her quickness. Yet, ”I can very well get used to riding in this jersey. When I attached my race number to it, I was thinking: This is going to be for a whole year now!”, the new Cyclocross World Champion happily said.