Mathieu van der Poel has been favorietenstatus for the world cup next weekend in Valkenburg yet again revitalised. The Dutchman drove for his own people in Hoogerheide from start to finish in the lead. Wout van Aert was a good second. Remarkable: Kevin Pauwels showed four Belgian world cup-goers behind.
A year ago, resulted in Hoogerheide a strange result: Wout van Aert started to be overloaded knee to spare, Mathieu van der Poel had just finished a tough stage leader and was in the piece. Van der haar won, ahead of Tom Meeusen and Corné van Kessel.
None of those three came this time. Van der Poel drew for a kanonstart and drove quickly away from the competition. Wout van Aert had its start with a little bit missed and passed after a full round the finish line nine seconds ahead of the duo Sweeck-Vanthourenhout, Wout van Aert followed still further.
Van Aert quickly settled on the second place and reed from the third round almost as quickly as his Dutch opponent. The gap was rarely greater than twenty seconds, both Of Aert and Van der Poel kept the pace nice and tight, Of Aert worked his slotrondes a fraction quicker than his Dutch opponent. Hopeful? Van Aert, there will already cling. The rest of the field looked far to.
Of those competitors, were Laurens Sweeck and Michael Vanthourenhout make the best impression with Vanthourenhout, eventually, if best. Striking was the absence of the guys from Telenet-Fidea cycling team in the head of the race. Toon Aerts was on a seventh place, the best of the Nys boys, the targeted Kevin Pauwels finished fifth and had four world cup-goers behind.
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) 2. Wout van Aert 3. Michael Vanthourenhout 4. Laurens Sweeck 5. Kevin Pauwels 6. Tim Merlier 7. Toon Aerts