Boom: Van Aert finally victorious

World champion Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) has finally come into winning form, as he soloed to victory on Saturday at the Niels Albert CX in Boom, Belgium. Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) finished second with Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea) rounding out the podium.

Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel, who had won the opening two rounds of the Telenet Superprestige earlier this season in Gieten and Zonhoven, recovered from an early crash and finished fourth.

Van Aert took advantage of van der Poels’ early mishap and set a high tempo for the rest of the race. He slowly rode rider after rider off his wheel until he was all alone. After not capturing a victory for all of September and most of October, the Belgian has now raised his arms in triumph his last two starts. He won the Kermiscross on Thursday.

Top 10

  • 1. Wout Van Aert, (BEL) CRELAN – CHARLES, in 1:00:01
  • 2. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL) ERA-CIRCUS, 1:00:10
  • 3. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:00:15
  • 4. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED) BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:00:23
  • 5. Jens Adams, (BEL) PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:00:23
  • 6. Quinten Hermans, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:00:50
  • 7. Toon Aerts, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:01:05
  • 8. Kevin Pauwels, (BEL) MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:01:25
  • 9. Tim Merlier, (BEL) CRELAN – CHARLES,1:01:37
  • 10. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE) PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:01:44

The third stop of the Telenet Superprestige series paid tribute to the living legend and two-time elite cyclocross world champion Niels Albert. All of the heavy hitters in the men’s field were on the start line, despite a world cup in Koksijde looming the next day. Van der Poel shot out of the starting grid, as he does most races, and led the group out on course. He was followed closely by van Aert with Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napolean Games) having an excellent start as well, sitting in the third spot.

The trio would break away from the rest of the pack and it appeared at first the podium may already be forming, but van der Haar and Quinten Hermans (Telenet Fidea) would have none of that and a large group was at the front of the race at the end of two of nine laps.

Van der Poel slide-out hard on a winding grassy descent, splitting the group. He was in fifth position at the time behind van Aert. Van Aert noticed the split and van der Poel gone. He quickly took to the front and drove the pace. By the end of the lap, it was just van Aert and Hermans in the front with Sweeck and Jens Adams (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) chasing.

Soon Hermans was gone and van Aert was all alone. He held a 12-second lead at the end of four laps with van der Poel out of contention nearly 50 seconds down.

On the next lap, Sweeck moved into second as Hermans, who had begun to fade, was now with Adams. Van der Haar was making a late charge but behind him, a storm of power was coming. Van der Poel had found his rhythm again and was picking riders off one-by-one.

With two laps to go Sweeck was in second only 10-seconds behind van Aert. Van der Haar made contact with his teammate Hermans and Adams, but now van der Poel was right behind them. The former under-23 world champion, van der Haar, quickly powered alone into third-place in an effort to capture the third spot on the podium and prevent van der Poel from doing so.

Van Aert was flawless through the final lap and was able to raise his arms in victory for only the second time this season, albeit the victories have come in his last two starts. Sweeck rode in for second with van der Haar holding off a hard-charging van der Poel for third. The 2015 world champion finished in fourth and the collapsed in the cooldown tent breathing heavily. He had dug deep to try to reach the podium, but had come up just short.

Adams rounded out the top-five. Hermans, who was fighting for a podium position midway through the race, finished sixth and European Champion Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea) came home in seventh.

The Telenet Superprestige series continues October 29 in Ruddervoorde.

Full results

  • 1. Wout Van Aert, (BEL) CRELAN – CHARLES, in 1:00:01
  • 2. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL) ERA-CIRCUS, 1:00:10
  • 3. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:00:15
  • 4. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED) BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:00:23
  • 5. Jens Adams, (BEL) PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:00:23
  • 6. Quinten Hermans, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:00:50
  • 7. Toon Aerts, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:01:05
  • 8. Kevin Pauwels, (BEL) MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:01:25
  • 9. Tim Merlier, (BEL) CRELAN – CHARLES,1:01:37
  • 10. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE) PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:01:44
  • 11. Dieter Vanthourenhout, (BEL) MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:01:53
  • 12. Michael Vanthourenhout, (BEL) MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:02:02
  • 13. Joris Nieuwenhuis, (NED) , 1:02:35
  • 14. Rob Peeters, (BEL) PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:02:38
  • 15. Vincent Baestaens, (BEL) ,1:03:25
  • 16. Gianni Vermeersch, (BEL) STEYLAERTS – BETFIRST,1:03:35
  • 17. Nicolas Cleppe, (BEL) TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:03:42
  • 18. Tom Meeusen, (BEL) BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:03:47
  • 19. Stan Godrie, (NED) CRELAN – CHARLES, 1:04:09
  • 20. Gioele Bertolini, (ITA), 1:04:33
  • 21. Diether Sweeck, (BEL) ERA-CIRCUS, 1:05:04
  • 22. Dario Tielen, (BEL), 1:05:04
  • 23. Edwin De Wit, (BEL)
  • 24. Mathieu Willemyns, (BEL)
  • 25. Yu Takenouchi, (JPN)
  • 26. Michael Butler, (GBR)
  • 27. Glenn Kinning, (IRL)
  • 28. Wouter Goosen, (BEL)

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Boom: Superprestige hat-trick for Kaptheijns

Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) continued her run of fine form in Boom, Belgium on Saturday by winning the Niels Albert CX, the third round of the premier Telenet Superprestige series in a sprint against world champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon).

The final lap saw a fierce quartet of Kapthijns, Cant, under-23 world champion Annemarie Worst (ERA-Circus) and Ellen van Loy (Telenet Fidea). Van Loy would drop off the pace, leaving three at the front entering the technical aspect of the course that came just before the finish.

The riders had to navigate a short sand-pit before a stair run-up. A brief switchback paved downhill led them across the sandpit again before a few turns and then a set of barriers. Once more through the sand pit made for five obstacles in the span of 30 seconds. The race organizers made the odd choice of giving the gave women a set of barriers 25-centimeters high, whereas the men would go up against the normal 40-centimeter high barriers.

Kaptheijns came out of the technical section in the lead with Cant locked onto her wheel. Worst was unable to keep pace with the duo through the section and van Loy had dropped off earlier in the lap.

Cant was unable to come around Kaptheijns on the short paved finishing straight and the Dutchwoman was able to take her third consecutive victory in the series. Worst finished 10 seconds behind in third with van Loy holding on for fourth.

Top 10

  • 1. Maud Kaptheijns, (NED), 40:01
  • 2. Sanne Cant, (BEL), 40:02
  • 3. Annemarie Worst, (NED), 40:11
  • 4. Ellen Van Loy, (BEL), 40:26
  • 5. Alice Maria Arzuffi, (ITA), 40:48
  • 6. Jolien Verschueren, (BEL), 40:53
  • 7. Kim Van De Steene, (BEL), 41:15
  • 8. Denise Betsema, (NED), 41:23
  • 9. Nikola NoskovÁ, (CZE), 41:42
  • 10. Fleur Nagengast, (NED), 42:20

A relatively small women’s field took the start in Boom, Belgium for the Niels Albert CX, the third stop of the eight-round Telenet Superprestige series. The third round of the world cup in Koksijde, Belgium on Sunday meant some of the riders opted to save their legs and not race Saturday. Most notably, Katie Compton (KFC Racing/Trek/Panache) was not on the start line.

Van Loy took the holeshot but was quickly passed by Kaptheijns. The Dutchwoman had won the previous two rounds by riding nearly the entire race off the front solo. However, that would not be the case on Saturday and Worst finished the opening lap with a slight lead over a chase group of van Loy, Kaptheijns, and Cant.

Surprisingly, Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) was nowhere in sight. She entered the race sitting high overall in the series standings. She would ultimately abandon the race midway through, making her chances of winning the overall title at the end of the year difficult.

The chase group would catch Worst on the second lap to create a leading quartet. Despite each rider attacking on multiple occasions, no one would be able to break away and they would enter the final lap together.

Van Loy would lose contact on one of the steep hills on the course, as Kaptheijns drove the pace on the front. The leading trio entering the tough five-obstacle section together, but only two, Kaptheijns and Cant, would come out in the lead.

A short paved finishing straight meant that most likely whoever entered the pavement first would win. Cant was unable to get around Kaptheijns before the pavement and the Dutchwoman sprinted to victory with Cant right behind. Worst rounded out the podium and van Loy came in comfortably for fourth.

Last year’s winner, Jolien Verschueren (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) recovered from a slow start and bounced back to catch Alice Arzuffi (Steylaerts Betfirst). However, the Italian would hold-on for fifth place and Verschueren would have to settle for sixth.

The Telenet Superprestige series continues October 29 in Ruddervoorde.

Full results

  • 1. Maud Kaptheijns, (NED), 40:01
  • 2. Sanne Cant, (BEL), 40:02
  • 3. Annemarie Worst, (NED), 40:11
  • 4. Ellen Van Loy, (BEL), 40:26
  • 5. Alice Maria Arzuffi, (ITA), 40:48
  • 6. Jolien Verschueren, (BEL), 40:53
  • 7. Kim Van De Steene, (BEL), 41:15
  • 8. Denise Betsema, (NED), 41:23
  • 9. Nikola NoskovÁ, (CZE), 41:42
  • 10. Fleur Nagengast, (NED), 42:20
  • 11. Karen Verhestraeten, (BEL), 42:43
  • 12. Laura Verdonschot, (BEL), 42:57
  • 13. Githa Michiels, (BEL), 43:21
  • 14. Elle Anderson, (USA), 44:12
  • 15. Marthe Truyen, (BEL), 44:42
  • 16. Lizzy Witlox, (NED), 45:57
  • 17. Marieke Van Witzenburg, (NED), 46:15
  • 18. Pien Limpens, (NED), 46:58
  • 19. Tinne Vermeiren, (BEL), 47:24
  • 20. Meg De Bruyne, (BEL), 47:34
  • 21. Lone Meertens, (BEL), 48:07
  • 22. Tine Rombouts, (BEL)
  • 23. Xan Crees, (GBR)
  • 24. Alderney Baker, (GBR)
  • 25. Maaike Meistrok, (NED)
  • 26. Lise Van Wunsel, (BEL)
  • DNF Nikki Brammeier, (GBR)
  • DSQ Susanne Meistrok, (NED)

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