Mathieu van der Poel once again demonstrated who the best cyclocross cyclist was a week before the World Championships. The 23-year-old Dutchman in Hoogerheide was the best at the last World Cup of the season. With the women, the victory in North Brabant went to Lucinda Brand.
Van der Poel had a 13-second lead on the Belgian number two Toon Aerts on the line of the cyclo-cross that was named after his father (GP Adrie van der Poel). World champion Wout van Aert was third on 32 counts. Aerts thus secured the final victory in the World Cup.
Van der Poel booked his 25th season victory two weeks ago in Otegem, Belgium, and his nineteenth in a row. He then went to training camp in the Spanish sun for a week and a half, in preparation for the World Cup that will take place next Sunday in Danish Bogense.
De Brabander missed last week the penultimate world cup cross in the French Pontchâteau. He already had no chance of winning in the World Cup, as he skipped the first two motos in America.
UCI World Cup Men Elite 2018-2019🥇 🇧🇪 Toon Aerts🥈 🇧🇪 Wout by Aert🥉 🇳🇱 Mathieu van der Poel #TelenetUCICXWCAvatar
With twenty victories in a row to WC
Van der Poel won every world cup track where he was at the start this season. Previously he was the best in Bern, Tábor, Koksijde, Namur and Heusden-Zolder. The 2015 world champion travels to Denmark for the most important cross of the year with twenty victories in a row.
It initially seemed as if Van der Poel had some problems with his winter internship. He had to leave a hole on Aerts after twenty minutes. The Belgian champion took a second or fifteen on his rival. The Dutchman managed to find a connection halfway through the match.
Van der Poel was the leader when he entered the fourth round. Little by little the Dutchman cracked his Belgian rival and before the start of the last round Van der Poel managed to solve his partner. The European champion extended his lead in the final lap and still came over with a big lead over Aerts.
Fire excels in blubber
Also the women went the win to the Dutch champion. Fire was stronger than the American Katherine Compton (second) and Marianne Vos (third), who was already certain of the final victory in the World Cup.
Brand showed to be one of the favorites for the world championships on the extremely tough mud course.
Vos had a good start and, together with Denise Betsema and the Belgian Sanne Cant, marched away with the rest. Brand drove after the first round still nine seconds behind the three.
In the second round, the Dutch made up her deficit on the leading group and a round later she even took a six-second lead over the rest. Eventually, after four rounds, Brand crossed the line in Hoogerheide. It was her seventh win of the season for the Dutch.
The 40-year-old American Compton arrived surprisingly as second in nine seconds. Vos was third in a small half-minute.