Mathieu van der Poel and Lucinda Brand both won the Jaarmarktcross in the Belgian municipality of Niel on Monday. Both were supreme in the mud.
Van der Poel won the European title the day before. In contrast to that match, Van der Poel had little opponent in Niel. His lead on number two Laurens Sweeck was no less than 1 minute and 20 seconds.
The Belgian managed to stay ahead of his countryman Thijs Aerts in the battle for third place. He is the younger brother of reigning Belgian champion Toon Aerts.
Van der Poel soon took a lead in the mud, which he expanded further round after round. He stayed clear on the tough course and in that way he led to a convincing victory.
Lucinda Brand immediately booked the victory in her season debut. (Photo: Pro Shots)
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Thirty-year-old Brand left the American Katie Compton (second) and the French Marion Riberolle (third) behind in rainy conditions.
Brand rode the cyclocross for the first time in the outfit of her new team Telenet-Baloise Lions. Previously, she played for Team Sunweb, but she traded for Trek. That team works in the field with Telenet-Baloise Lions.
In the absence of world champion Sanne Cant, Brand was considered the big favorite. She immediately realized that status, because halfway through the first round she already had a gap.
The Dordtse was later joined by Riberolle and Compton. Riberolle, however, fell away with chain problems, while Compton was unable to keep up with Brand's fast pace. They still managed to finish on the podium.