ESSEN, Belgium – Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace Continental Team) demonstrated his dominance yet again at the 2014 Bpost Bank Trophy in Essen with a solo win, finishing 1:06 ahead of his closest competitor and second place finisher Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team).
From the start Van Aert asserted himself, pushing past Lars Van der Haar (Giant Shimano Development Tram), who had taken the holeshot but bobbled and lost ground in the first few moments of the race.
Van Aert immediately gained a five second advantage with teammate Rob Peeters joining soon after. Meeusen was next to bridge the gap, joining the pair by the end of the first lap.
The early move appeared to be working as the trio increased their lead through the first three laps with Peeters driving the pace at the front.
As the head of the race was forming up, many eyes were poised on the chase group of about 12 riders. The big question seemed to be whether Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink), now back from rest in Mallorca, would emerge to defend his series lead.
With the race approaching midpoint, and no aggressor apparent from the chase, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb – Napoleon Games Cycling Team) launched a solo attempt in lap four to bridge the gap to the leaders.
Just before the catch Van Aert launched his own attack. Peeters, who had done much of the work to this point, struggled to hold Meeusen’s wheel, but the pair split with Pauwels trailing.
It was the decisive blow as the flawless riding by Van Aert secured the win and his position as the new series leader, increasing the margin to 1:50 by the finish.
Not to be discounted, Meeusen finished strong, coming across the line 34 seconds ahead of the eventual third place finisher Peeters, who had battled Pauwels for the latter half of the race.
Nys, who had led the series, dropped to second place overall, finishing 13th for the day, 2:50 down.
Pauwel’s fourth place finish moves him to third overall, trailing Nys by just six seconds.
Check back for coverage of the Elite Women’s race.
2104 Bpost Bank Trofee Essen Elite Men’s Results
|1||Wout VAN AERT||BEL||20||59:54:00|
|15||Lars VAN DER HAAR||NED||23||1:03:23|
|19||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL||26||1:05:00|
|20||Patrick VAN LEEUWEN||NED||29||1:05:15|
|24||Aitor HERNANDEZ GUTIERREZ||ESP||32||1:06:22|
|28||Agustin NAVARRO VIDAL||ESP||36|