OVERIJSE, Belgium—What a difference a day makes. After a tight racing and Mathieu van der Poel’s misfortune in Essen yesterday (watch the Essen video here), the racing at the Vlaamse Druivencross in Overijse today couldn’t have been more different.
Today’s story was huge time gaps and a wire-to-wire ride by Van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) at the UCI C1 race.
Van der Poel wasted no time in making up for his disappointing ride and result in Essen, grabbing the holeshot and stretching it out with nearly every pedal stroke and step.
Behind, teammates Kevin Pauwels and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux Napaleon Games) and World Champ Wout van Aert (Crelan Vastgoedservice) gave chase, but soon it looked like all were resigned to race for the lower podium steps or hope for a Van der Poel mechanical or crash, once they realized the Dutch star was on a good day.
By the end of the first lap, Van der Poel had 4 seconds on Pauwels, and three laps in it was 13 over then second-place Van Aert.
On the climbs and descent, Van der Poel looked to be superior, dabbing and sliding his way down the tricky descents and picking up one-second hand-ups along the way.
@mathieuvanderpoel and his lonely ride towards the finish line #overijse #cyclocross #drui… https://t.co/05K8ZlogD4 pic.twitter.com/1qTX5q9zMq
— cyclephotos (@cyclephotos) December 11, 2016
Behind, racers settled in to conserve their positions, with Essen’s top two spots settling for one spot down on the day.
American Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld), in full Pan American continental championship colors, got a front-row call-up and kept the pressure on, riding in the top ten and finishing in 14th.
Winner of the day @mathieuvdpoel #Druivencross #Overijse #Teamvdp pic.twitter.com/5VUDoDETzV
— Chelsea vdbosch (@chelseavdbosch) December 11, 2016
See the full race video below.
2016 Vlaamse Druivencross Overijse Video – Men:
2016 Vlaamse Druivencross Overijse Results - Elite Men
|1||Mathieu VAN DER POEL||NED||1:00:35|
|2||Wout VAN AERT||BEL||1:01:30|