OVERIJSE, Belgium —The C1 Vlaamse Druivencross race is called the “mother of all races,” despite being a standalone race that’s not part of the World Cup, Superprestige or Bpost Bank Trofee series. With a pile of UCI points on the line, many of the top racers lined up on Sunday despite tired legs from Saturday’s Essen’s Bpost Bank race.

Van der Poel Escapes the Rainbow Curse

Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon), fresh off a frustrating mechanical at Essen that cost him the Bpost Bank Trofee cyclocross race win, lined up in Overijse, Belgium, without Wout van Aert and Sven Nys, and seized the opportunity to take his revenge on the rest of the field to race to a dominant win on the cobbles of Druivencross.

While van Aert stayed home, Nys skipped the C1 Druivencross race due to a start money dispute with the promoters. But even without the 39-year-old legend, and his rival van Aert, Dutch star van der Poel did not have an easy ride. He first missed a pedal at the start and got swarmed, and then later suffered a chain problem, but neither mishap would keep the young World Champion from seeing the front of the race. See van der Poel sacrifice his front-line start in the short video below:

Belgians Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Tom Meeusen (Telnet-Fidea) would appease the Belgian fans, leading seven Belgians in their attempt to dethrone the Dutch World Champ. But van der Poel was on a mission, rejoined the leaders, and would escape to find clean lines and late laps for a twenty-second gap.

Van der Poel would cross the line with time to spare, pointing to his surgically-repaired knee, just as Johan Museeuw did in 2000 when he crossed the line to win Paris-Roubaix:

Pauwels would follow in second, with Meeusen in third. Full 2015 Druivencross men’s results at the bottom.

Jolien Verschueren Escapes the Brits, Delights Belgian Fans

In the women’s race, it was a Telenet-Fidea show, with Verschueren, Nikki Harris and Ellen van Loy doing their best to control the attempts by Helen Wyman (Kona) and Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) to steal the victory.

The group splintered, and Verschueren proved to be the strongest on the day, escaping Wyman and Harris to take the victory.

The podium ceremony was one of the more unique ones on the circuit:

2015 Vlaamse Druivencross Cyclocross Results - Elite Men

1Mathieu VAN DER POELNED201:03:0180
2Kevin PAUWELSBEL311:03:2060
3Tom MEEUSENBEL271:03:3640
4Tim MERLIERBEL231:03:4530
5Klaas VANTORNOUTBEL331:03:4925
6Gianni VERMEERSCHBEL231:04:1620
7Michael VANTHOURENHOUTBEL221:04:4317
8Corne VAN KESSELNED241:04:5215
9Marcel MEISENGER261:05:0112
10Toon AERTSBEL221:05:0910
11Jim AERNOUTSBEL261:05:118
13Dieter VANTHOURENHOUTBEL301:05:414
14Michael BOROSCZE231:05:502
15Vincent BAESTAENSBEL261:06:181
16Niels WUBBENNED271:06:40
18David VAN DER POELNED231:07:32
19Patrick VAN LEEUWENNED301:08:15
20Bart HOFMANBEL301:08:15
23Michael VAN DEN HAMCAN23
24Vinnie BRAETBEL24
28Kristaps KIPURSLAT32

2015 Vlaamse Druivencross Cyclocross Results - Elite Women

1Jolien VERSCHUERENBEL2541:07:0080
2Helen WYMANGBR3441:21:0060
3Nikki HARRISGBR2941:36:0040
4Sanne CANTBEL2541:45:0030
5Ellen VAN LOYBEL3542:06:0025
6Sophie DE BOERNED2542:30:0020
7Christine MAJERUSLUX2842:50:0017
8Karen VERHESTRAETENBEL2443:32:0015
9Joyce VANDERBEKENBEL3143:54:0012
10Nikola NOSKOVACZE1844:05:0010
11Alice Maria ARZUFFIITA2144:18:008
12Ffion JAMESGBR1844:27:006
13Bianca VAN DEN HOEKNED3944:49:004
14Julia BOSCHKERNED1646:18:002
15Linda TER BEEKNED2846:18:001
16Pauline DELHAYEFRA2647:10:00
17Senna FERONNED2047:35:00
18Eva Maria PALMBEL1847:58:00
19Christine VARDAROSUSA4649:43:00
21Yenthe BOONSBEL18