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Untouchable Mathieu van der Poel

A good start into the season with STEVENS Super Prestige: At the World Cup race in Iowa City Mathieu van der Poel, Laurens Sweeck und Annemarie Worst win aboard the top cross machine, Sanne Cant comes in third.

The season starter was a show of strength: Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) won the first race of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup in superior fashion. The Dutch ’cross champion was almost untouchable in a start-to-finish win at the ”Jinglecross” in Iowa City with nearly one minute ahead of the competition.

+++ the men's and women's race at UCI Youtube Channel +++

By taking second place Laurens Sweeck of Team ERA-Circus perfected a double-victory for the new STEVENS Super Prestige. He prevailed in the sprint for the finish line against Quinten Hermans. In the Women’s Elite race, Sanne Cant (Enertherm-Beobank) won third place by outsprinting Sophie de Boer.

Mathieu van der Poel broke away from the field right in the first lap and kept the lead until the end. Nobody was able to follow him on the fast hard-pack grassland course with several steep climbs. After four of ten laps it was Laurens Sweeck to break away from the pack: ”I felt that I could go faster”, Laurens said, who could benefit from Quinten Hermans catching up. ”Together we extended our lead very well.”

While they could not close the gap to Mathieu van der Poel, they managed to gain a 15-seconds advantage over the field that broke apart as the race went on. Just right before the finish they sprinted for the line with Laurens Sweeck ending up as the clear winner. They were followed by Kevin Pauwels and Lars van der Haar. World Champion Wout van Aert did not have a good day, a flat tire made him fall behind to place 19.

First And Second Place For Laurens Sweeck, Third Place For Sanne Cant
The race might have looked easy but according to van der Poel it wasn’t at all: ”The heat was a huge factor”, and he also had to deal with a derailleur malfunction for about half a lap. Sweeck obviously liked the Iowa City course since the Friday before he had already won the C1-categorized ”Jinglecross 1” race.

In this race he had fended off Quinten Hermans for the first time already. In the C2-categorized ”Jinglecross 2” race on Saturday his team mate Wietse Bosmans race to fifth place. A week later the second World Cup race in Waterloo, Wisconsin is about to take place.

Sanne Cant is happily looking forward to that race after her third place in Iowa where she had a tough time because of the heat. The Women’s Elite race was undecided for a long time with the lead changing several times. It was only in the second half of the race when Katerina Nash (CZ) was able to break away. A little later Katie Keough went for the pursuit.

Behind her a ten-strong group followed. On the finish line Sanne Cant defeated Sophie de Boer in the sprint for third place. Sanne said after the race: ”I made the best from the situation. A second place might have been possible but Katie Keough was just too strong in the final lap, and the weather was just too hot for me.”

… Meanwhile In Baden, Switzerland
At the opening event of the EKZ Tour in Baden, Switzerland, U23 World Champion Annemarie Worst, ERA-Circus, rode to victory on STEVENS Super Prestige. The Dutch rider prevailed against Pavla Havlikova (CZ) and Laura Verdonschot (Belgium) in the final lap and was very happy about her early-season win: ”It was a tough race. We went off when the sun was shining but after two laps it started raining which made the course quite slippery.”

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