Veldrijder Wout van Aert has written both the day victory and the World Cup classification to his name on Sunday in Overijse, Belgium. The rider of Jumbo-Visma won the victory in a convincing way (and for the first time in his career).
Van Aert turned out to be a buddy too big for everyone in the mud. The only one who could follow was – of course – Mathieu van der Poel, but the efforts of the Dutchman proved not enough. A flat tire caused Van der Poel to lag behind his Belgian rival early in the race.
It was already clear beforehand that the battle for the final classification in the World Cup and the day victory would be between the two riders. Van Aert could hardly shake off the current world champion during the race. But the two took such a distance from the other riders that it soon became clear that the Belgian had secured the World Cup classification. Van Aert had enough of a first or second place to be sure of the final victory.
Twice to the ground
After the puncture of Van der Poel and as a result a half minute delay on Van Aert, the Dutchman could still find the strength to close the gap up to about ten seconds. But the pursuit of his rival took so much breath that Van der Poel did not go further and fell back for a while.
A second fall in the sixth of eight rounds turned out to be the sledgehammer battle for the current world champion. Van Aert only had to drive home the race and that‘s what he did. Van der Poel ended up at over a minute’s delay.
The Belgian goes through the double win with a feeling of confidence to the world championship Cyclocross in Ostend next weekend, provided it continues.
Earlier in the day, Ceylin Alvarado conquered the last world cup race of the season. The 22-year-old Dutch, European and world champion, who won Saturday in Hamme, rode on a slippery trail already in the first round road.
Denise Betsema joined and a little later Lucinda Brand and Manon Bakker reported. Brand managed to unload as the best runner of the four Bakker and Betsema, who often slipped. Alvarado did not break, took the lead again in the penultimate round and did not stop it.
Brand had already won three of the previous four World Cup matches and was already sure of the final victory in the leaderboard.