Van Aert wins today’s race and general ranking
Sunday 24 January 2021
Just like during today’s women’s race, the men in Overijse also gave us a spectacular event. Belgian champion and overall leader in the World Cup Wout van Aert took home the win. He won from world champion Van der Poel with a lead of 1’03”. Pidcock finished third.
In the very first round favourites Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) ride 9 seconds away from the others. Tom Pidcock is chasing them all alone. Barely a lap later the two leaders have doubled their lead and Pidcock and the others are looking at a gap of 20 seconds.
Suddenly Van der Poel has to let go of his co-leader position and has to deal with a flat tire. At the pit area the chronometer shows 29 seconds. The world champion starts his chase, with Pidcock and Vantourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal) in his wheel.
Van der Poel accelerates and leaves Pidcock and Vantourenhout behind rather quickly. At the end of the third lap Van der Poel has made up 19 seconds already. He is getting closer but halfway the fourth round the difference between him and Van Aert seems to stabilize. At the same time there is a close battle going on for the third place. At the end of lap four it seems like Pidcock is winning that one with a lead of 14 seconds on Vantourenhout.
With three more rounds to go Van der Poel seems to have picked up his pace again. He nibbles second after second away from the gap between him and Van Aert. He gets to a close 5 seconds from the lead of the race but because of his high pace he ends up making too many mistakes and eventually he falls down. A fall that makes an end to the exciting chase. Van Aert starts the final lap with a lead of 50 seconds.
Van Aert rides solo to his victory in Overijse and also takes the overall win in the World Cup. World champion Van der Poel ends up in second place, 1’03”. Pidcock wins the battle for third place on 2’07” from the winner.