Mathieu Van der Poel impresses after oneman show in Hulst, Wout van Aert remains leader of the World Cup.
Sunday 03 January 2021
Toon Aerts (Trek Baloise Lions) had the best start and set the pace in the opening phase. Halfway through the opening lap Van der Poel took over and increased the speed a bit more. The duo quickly hit a gap on the opposition. Van Aert moved up after a difficult start, but lost a handful of seconds after a bad bike change. At that moment, however, Van der Poel was already out of sight.With a few impressive pedal punches, he popped Aerts out of the wheel, who was immediately six seconds behind. At the chasers, van Aert flew past Vanthourenhout in search of Aerts and Van der Poel.
At the start of the third lap, Van der Poel's lead was twenty seconds. In the background Van Aert also seemed to have found the right pace. The leader of the World Cup closed the gap on Aerts with Vantourenhout in his wheel and seemed to be steaming through, but after a technical mistake he was again forced to chase. This time he got Pidcock along in his search for the two pursuers.
While Van der Poel's lead continued to grow, the trio Pidcock - Vanthourenhout - Van Aert fought for the two remaining podium spots. This time he got Pidcock along in his search for the two pursuers.
While Van der Poel's lead continued to grow, the trio Pidcock - Vanthourenhout - van Aert fought for the two remaining podium finishes. Aerts seemed to have to pay for his early efforts and was unable to take the crossing to the trio. Vanthourenhout also had to leave Aert and lost a lot of ground. So the names for the stage were decided.The only question that remained now was who was finally allowed to stand on the second scaffold.
Second breath Van Aert
Van Aert seemed to have found a better rhythm again and put Pidcock under pressure. The young Brit also made some mistakes under that pressure, but at first he didn't break. Even though it was a postponement of execution, because just before the start of the final round Van Aert was able to break away from his companion.
Van Aert's acceleration would decide the fight for the podium. Van der Poel again won the World Cup cross with great dominance. Van Aert finished second more than a minute and a half behind Van der Poel. Pidcock came third half a minute later.