Van der Poel rules the Big Three Summit at the World Cup in Antwerp
Van Aert runner up in first 'cross race of the season
On Sunday the highly-anticipated Big Three Summit between Tom Pidcock, Mathieu van der Poel and Wout Van Aert played out on the sands of Antwerp in the eighth round of the 2022-2023 UCI ‘Cross World Cup, with the Dutchman prevailing. It was van der Poel’s second series triumph in a row, and revealed that his crash on the cobbles on Saturday at Superprestige Boom, although painful, hadn’t affected his performance. Wout Van Aert was runner-up in his first race of the season. Laurens Sweeck kept his World Cup lead.
How good is it to see @WoutvanAert back 🙌#CXWorldCup pic.twitter.com/usFR7d5SRd
— UCI Cyclocross (@UCI_CX) December 4, 2022
You can watch the 2022-2023 UCI ‘Cross World Cup at FloBikes.
Going into Sunday rounds 4 and 5 victor Laurens Sweeck held the World Cup lead by four points over Eli Iserbyt, who had claimed the first three rounds. Winner in Overijse, Michael Vanthourenhout was back a bit in third.
Cameron Jette once more was the lone Canadian.
Wout Van Aert immediately nabbed the lead, with unfamiliar name Mees Hendrikx kissing the sky beside him. MvdP was fifth and Pidcock, winner of Saturday’s Superprestige round, 24th early on Lap 1. Lars van der Haar slipped around Hendrikx and soon van der Poel was in Position 3. In the sand van der Haar took charge, leading a long string.
At the beginning of Lap 2, van der Poel grabbed the reins and put a couple of seconds between himself and Van Aert. By the end of the second circuit van der Poel had 14 seconds over Van Aert, van der Haar and Vanthourenhout, Sweeck a little farther back. Jette was 38th.
Sweeck and van der Haar formed their own chase duo behind Van Aert and Vanthourenhout on Lap 3 of 7. Iserbyt was seventh and Pidcock had battled his way to 14th. Van der Poel kept on prying the gap wider. Van Aert dropped Vanthourenhout by the end of the circuit.
By Lap 4, Pidcock had moved ahead of Iserbyt into eighth. Vanthourenhout was wary of Sweeck gunning for the final podium spot.
It was as-you-were going into Lap 5. By the penultimate lap, Vanthourenhout had put Sweeck back in his rear view mirror and Iserbyt had churned back ahead of Pidcock. Jette was 39th.
Mathieu van der Poel claimed his second consecutive World Cup win by 23 seconds over Van Aert. Pidcock came eighth.
Round 9 is next Sunday in Dublin, Ireland.
2022-2023 UCI ‘Cross World Cup, Round 8, Antwerp
1) Mathieu van der Poel (The Netherlands/Alpecin-Deceuninck) 59:04
2) Wout Van Aert (Belgium/Jumbo-Visma) +0:23
3) Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) +0:34
39) Cameron Jette (Canada)