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BOOM, Belgium—World Champion Wout van Aert and Jolien Verschueren took important wins on Saturday at the Niels Albert CX UCI C1 race. The race was a key tune-up event f0r Sunday’s Telenet UCI Valkenburg World Cup.

In the men’s race, van Aert won another duel with rival Mathieu van der Poel, but it wasn’t quite the nail-biter we saw last weekend at the Superprestige Zonhoven.

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Van Aert made a late push to take the win by a comfortable 23 seconds, while Van der Poel had to fight hard to keep his second place, as teammate Wiets Bosmans was just seconds behind in third.

One can’t help but wonder how much today’s racers saved themselves for Sunday’s World Cup.

In the women’s race, Verschueren took advantage of both Sanne Cant and Thalita De Jong skipping the event, and rode to a dominant win with a minute gap over Ellen Van Loy. Behind, Rebecca Fahringer claimed her first European podium with a strong UCI C1 third place.

The Niels Albert CX event also hosted a U23 race, narrowly won by Great Britain’s Ben Turner ahead of Arne Vrachten and Florian Vermeersch. Full results below the notes.

2016 Niels Albert CX Race Notes:

  1. There were more U23 Men racing than Elite Men or Women.
  2. Fahringer rode IRC Serac tubeless clinchers on her NoTubes wheels. We’ll have to confirm, but this could be the first European UCI podium for a tubeless racer.
  3. Niels Albert was a two-time World Champion, last winning in 2012 dominant fashion in Koksijde before ending his stellar career prematurely due to heart problems. See our feature on Albert and his new life as bike shop owner in Issue 28 in print or digital.
  4. In order to make the Valenburg World Cup with minimal stress and maximum recovery time, Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel and his brother David all took a helicopter to Valkenburg:

That is one talent-laden helicopter. Hopefully there’s some brotherly love among the three of them, otherwise it’d be one long ride.

2016 Niels Albert CX UCI Results - U23 Men

RankNameNat.Age*ResultPts
1Ben TURNERGBR1841:43:0010
2Arne VRACHTENBEL1841:48:006
3Florian VERMEERSCHBEL1841:59:004
4Niels VANDEPUTTEBEL1742:43:002
5Arno DEBEIRBEL1842:45:001
6Jarne DE MEYERBEL1842:45:00
7Arno VAN DEN BROECKBEL1742:54:00
8Brent BRAESBEL1843:08:00
9Len DEJONGHEBEL1743:14:00
10Gerben KUYPERSBEL1743:23:00
11Harry YATESGBR1843:25:00
12Julian SIEMONSBEL1843:28:00
13Vince VAN DEN EYNDEBEL1743:30:00
14Aron ARKESTEYNBEL1843:33:00
15Dolf PEMENBEL1743:36:00
16Niels VANDERMEULENBEL1843:36:00
17Joren THYSBEL1743:39:00
18Thomas MEINGBR1844:05:00
19Maxim VAN GILSBEL1844:19:00
20Jarno JORDENSBEL1744:28:00
21Ward DESCHEPPERBEL1844:35:00
22Toby BARNESGBR1744:45:00
23Andres VERDONCKBEL1744:52:00
24Jens CLYNHENSBEL1745:14:00
25Wannes LEMBRECHTSBEL1845:18:00
26Lander TIBACKXBEL1845:30:00
27Wojciech CENIUCHPOL1845:43:00
28Sander DE VETBEL1746:03:00
29Jarno BELLENSBEL1746:14:00
30Bavo HOUSSINBEL1746:17:00
31Loeka VERDONCKBEL1846:26:00
32Victor BROEXNED1747:38:00
33Maxime COCKXBEL1747:56:00
34Ruben VAN DER PIJLNED1748:59:00
35Kyle PEETERSBEL18
36Gill SEMPELSBEL17
37Seppe AERTSBEL17
38Lenn VERDIJCKBEL18
39Guillermo COOREMANBEL18

2016 Niels Albert CX UCI C1 Results - Elite Women

RankNameNat.Age*ResultPts
1Jolien VERSCHUERENBEL2745:53:0040
2Ellen VAN LOYBEL3746:52:0030
3Rebecca FAHRINGERUSA2847:15:0020
4Githa MICHIELSBEL3447:54:0015
5Geerte HOEKENED2748:21:0010
6Manon BAKKERNED1848:27:008
7Lindy VAN ANROOIJNED2148:48:006
8Kim VAN DE STEENEBEL3149:11:004
9Asa Maria ERLANDSSONSWE4349:30:002
10Ffion JAMESGBR2049:43:001
11Fleur NAGENGASTNED1950:07:00
12Shana MAESBEL2250:29:00
13Esther VAN DER BURGNED1951:06:00
14Axelle BELLAERTBEL2051:27:00
15Mieke DEROOBEL4552:06:00
16Yara KASTELIJNNED2052:42:00
17Gertie WILLEMSBEL40
18Marthe TRUYENBEL18
19Birgit MASSAGÉBEL27
20Tine ROMBOUTSBEL17
21Jara NOËLBEL18
22Anke VAN ROMPAYBEL18

2016 Niels Albert CX UCI C1 Results - Elite Men

RankNameNat.Age*ResultPts
1Wout VAN AERTBEL2358:40:0040
2Mathieu VAN DER POELNED2259:03:0030
3Wietse BOSMANSBEL2659:11:0020
4Tom MEEUSENBEL2959:39:0015
5David VAN DER POELNED2559:52:0010
6Joeri ADAMSBEL2859:58:008
7Marcel MEISENGER281:00:576
8Stijn HUYSBEL311:01:094
9Philipp WALSLEBENGER301:01:492
10Jappe JASPERSBEL191:01:561
11Thomas VAN DE VELDEBEL211:01:57
12Dario TIELENBEL231:02:05
13Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLEBEL291:02:10
14Pieter VAN ROOSBROECKBEL211:02:19
15Victor VANDEBOSCHBEL191:02:34
16Reno BAUTERSBEL191:03:22
17Senne De MeyerBEL211:03:40
18Radomir SIMUNEKCZE341:03:48
19Quincy VENSBEL311:04:14
20Kyle DE PROOSTBEL22
21Wouter GOOSENBEL31
22Niels VERBRUGGENNED19
23Lubos PELANEKCZE36
24Marvin RUNHAARNED20