As he’s done often this year, Wout van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) got to the front of the fourth round of the 2015 Superprestige series in Gavere, Belgium, and set a pace too high for his lead-group companions to match, distancing them and winning the race solo.
Van Aert’s attack came with three laps to go on the slightly-slick Gavere course. He distanced lead group companions Lars van der Haar (Giant Alpecin), Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink).
The start in Gavere was chaotic, as Tom Meeusen broke his chain seconds into the race, leading to a crash towards the back-end of the starting grid. David Van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) led a majority of the first lap, with van Aert well-positioned as the fourth wheel and Nys and van der Haar not far behind.
Laurens Sweeck (ERA Real Estate-Murprotec) was the first to spring into action, attacking up the climb and bringing van Aert with him. The duo was quickly joined by van der Haar, and a group driven by Nys.
Nys then gave the pacemaking a go, distancing the group with only van der Haar able to follow. Van Aert was the first to bridge to the leading duo, doing so a little under a lap after Nys’ initial effort, and shortly thereafter, Pauwels was able to go clear of the chase, joining the leaders in what would be the final selection with five laps remaining in the race.
The lead group would stay together, with van Aert throwing in small attacks to test for weakness and soften his groupmates.
With three laps to go, van Aert made his move on the long, slippery and off camber climb on the backside of the course. He went into the foot of the climb leading and with some momentum, and put the power down, bringing van der Haar with him, but distancing Pauwels and Nys. Van der Haar shortly paid for his efforts, falling off of van Aert’s pace and getting absorbed by Pauwels and Nys.
Van Aert’s pace did not falter, he was able to hold his gap for the remaining two laps, and win the 2015 Superprestige Gavere in commanding fashion, with a gap of 15 seconds.
Behind him, the race for the final podium spots was on. Van der Haar was the first to fall off the pace, leaving Pauwels and Nys together with two laps to go. Pauwels attemped to attack and distance Nys many times, but was not successful, with Nys always being able to claw himself back to Pauwels’ wheel. The two would hit the pavement together, and Nys would come around Pauwels for second place.
Van der Haar would roll in shortly after, in fourth place, 59 seconds down on van Aert.
2015 Superprestige Gavere Elite Men's Results
|1||Wout VAN AERT||BEL||21||56:52:00|
|4||Lars VAN DER HAAR||NED||24||57:52:00|
|11||Corne VAN KESSEL||NED||24||59:15:00|
|14||Thijs VAN AMERONGEN||NED||29||59:37:00|
|24||David VAN DER POEL||NED||23||1:01:58|
|28||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL||27|
|29||Michael VAN DEN HAM||CAN||23|