Mathieu van der Poel has, like last year, the european CHAMPIONSHIPS cyclocross won. The Dutchman took in Rosmalen, after his offday on the Koppenberg-sounding revenge, and despite a good start of the Belgians was the fight after two rounds, settled. Van der Poel made a true onemanshow, world champion Wout van Aert was (much) stronger than the rest of the suit but had to satisfy with the second place well away from Van der Poel, Laurens Sweeck took the bronze.
All eyes at the start in Rosmalen were Mathieu van der Poel focused. The 23-year-old Dutchman defended for its own people, its European title but had, however, last Thursday a complete offday in the Koppenbergcross, and appeared so with the necessary doubts at the start.
Van Aert immediately puts pressure…
That worked apparently, a stimulant for the Belgian block, where world champion Wout van Aert, the spearhead was. And that was immediately clear after the start: Tim Merlier had a useful hole to fall for Van Aert, which are so immediately a small head start could take. Behind him, the Dutch had immediately filled the tank with Lars van der haar and Van der Poel. Toon Aerts pushed useful as a watchdog.
Van der Poel quickly sets in order to
Course builder Richard Groenendaal draw in Rosmalen, however, a circulation which speed and technique are the decisive factor proved to be. A fast-paced course tailored to the needs of Mathieu van der Poel with other words: flat, lots of turns, a bit of sand and bars. In the second round, drove the Dutch to the world champion, after which we expected duel seemed to get between the two greats.
But still in the same round drew Van der Poel in a technical strip once, sharply, and immediately he struck the decisive gap.
As so often this season, we got later the image of an authoritarian Van der Poel who is amused in his playground, with behind him a never-opgevende Of Aert. The world champion continued to still hang on ten seconds of his eternal villain, who, however, never got into trouble. Quickly doubled Van der Poel, however, are head start and early in the final lap, he could cheer with his fans.
Conclusion? Van Aert is not bad, but Van der Poel is on tracks such as this simply a class apart.
Bronze makes for some tension
Behind the back of van Aert fought four rider for the bronze: Lars van der haar and Show Aerts got the company of Laurens Sweeck and Michael Vanthourenhout.
Van der haar had the three Belgians, however, soon to drive on, after which the three blauwhemden went in search of the rainbow jersey and the bronze medal. Vanthourenhout seemed at first to be the strongest of the three and was the nearest to his team leader but was later voorbijgesneld by Sweeck, who the bronze medal.
Second European title in a row
Van der Poel follows himself on the hall of fame. In 2016, he had to be satisfied with silver, behind Toon Aerts. Van Aert appeared last year not at the start. The world champion picked up in 2016 bronze, the year before silver.
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It was a European championship, the entire top 10 was occupied by the Belgians and the Dutch.
1. Mathieu Van der Poel
2. Wout van Aert +14″
3. Laurens Sweeck +28″
4. Michael Vanthourenhout +30″
5. Toon Aerts +33″
6. Lars Van der haar +37″
7. Joris Nieuwenhuis +1’08”
8. Quinten Hermans +1’13”
9. Gianni Vermeersch +1’15”
10. Daan Soete +1’16”