Mathieu van der Poel opened the new year on Friday with a victory in the GP Sven Nys.

The 25-year-old from Brabant settled in Baal, Belgium, with his eternal rival Wout van Aert.

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado was victorious among the women.

It was the Briton Tom Pidcock who took the initiative in the second round and made a hole with Van der Poel, but the reigning world champion soon made up the gap and got the Belgians Van Aert and Eli Iserbyt in his wheel.

Later Michael Vanthourenhout also joined the leading group.

Three laps before the end, Van der Poel placed the decisive breakaway in a descent.

Vanthourenhout seemed to be able to follow the Dutchman, but he had to release quickly and was overtaken by Pidcock.

Van Aert could not handle the fast pace of Van der Poel either.

The Belgian even went down.

Van Aert recovered in the final phase and approached Van der Poel in just under ten seconds, but the Brabander did not let the gap narrow and soloed to victory in a sovereign way.

Pidcock came third behind Van Aert.

For Van der Poel it is his fourth victory in a row at the GP Sven Nys, which is traditionally held on New Year's Day.

The three-time cyclocross world champion is already at the start on Saturday at the Cyclocross in Gullegem, Belgium.

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado won the GP Sven Nys for the second year in a row.

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado won the GP Sven Nys for the second year in a row.

Photo: ANP

Alvarado is victorious among the women

The women's victory went to Alvarado for the second year in a row.

The Dutch cyclist too strong for her compatriots Lucinda Brand and Denise Betsema.

Betsema and world champion Alvarado took off with the two of them after the start, but Brand quickly closed the gap.

Despite some mistakes here and there, the trio stayed together for almost the entire race.

In the final phase, Betsema still had to release after an acceleration at Brand.

Alvarado was able to go along and had the longest breath in the final meters.

Brand crossed the line four seconds later, well ahead of Betsema (third) and Fem van Empel (fourth), who completed the Dutch top four.

The GP Sven Nys is the fifth cross in the battle for the Soudal Ladies Trophy.

Alvarado also won the Herentals Cross at the end of December and is the only one with two victories to her name so far.

Three more races will be held.