Young Van der Haar beats the best at Cauberg
Lars van der Haar completed a long solo to grab his first big pro win in Valkenburg. During the third of nine laps Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) was the only rider who matched the speed of the Dutchman. Halfway the race the duo had a sizeable gap on the first chase group but then Pauwels was set afoot when his chain dropped. From there the young leader controlled affairs and always held on to at least a twenty seconds lead. Pauwels needed some time to pick up the pace again and he dropped back in a group with Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and World Champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony). German rider Phlip Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) briefly rode in second place until Pauwels got going again. Nys first lost ground due to a flat tyre before abandoning the race with a broken chain. In front Van der Haar held on to his lead, grabbing his first World Cup victory. Pauwels finished as runner-up at 20s while Walsleben held on to third place at 39s. Last year’s overall World Cup winner Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) rode below par towards an eleventh place.
Vos solo from start to finish
British rider Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) managed the hole shot in the Women category. It was the only moment in the race where World champion Vos allowed another woman to shine on home soil. A few hectometres further up the road Vos took over the command and never looked back. The first chasers were Katherine Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective), Christel Ferrier-Brunea (Faren Kuota), Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) and Wyman who trailed Vos by 18s after one lap. While Vos kept extending her lead it was Compton who proved to be best of the rest. The American champion rode alone towards second place. During the penultimate lap British champion Harris made her move for the last podium spot. First Ferrier-Bruneau cracked and then also Wyman had to bow her head. At the finish line Vos had a massive lead over Compton. Just under two minutes after Vos it was Harris who managed third ahead of Wyman and Ferrier-Bruneau.
Vanthourenhout holds off Van der Poel
Seemingly unbeatable Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) missed his start in the World Cup on home soil. The Junior Men World champion on the road and cyclo-cross was a back-row starter in Valkenburg as he moved up a category this season. Shortly after the start Van der Poel crashe while in front Belgian riders Michael Vanthourenhout and Wout Van Aert sped away. Halfway the race the latter got dropped while Van der Poel worked his way into third place at 25s from leader Vanthourenhout. When hitting the final lap Van der Poel caught up with Van Aert, trailing Vanthourenhout by only 12s. By then Van der Poel ran out of gas so Vanthourenhout claimed the win in Valkenburg. Van Aert beat Van der Poel in the sprint for second place.
Dubau twins dominate Junior Men category
French rider Lucas Dubau won the Junior Men race in Valkenburg. Dubau attacked solo in the first lap and was joined by Yannick Peeters (Belgium) during the second lap. Halfway the race Peeters attacked but didn’t hold on to his lead. Little later Dubau accelerated and suddenly Peeters crashed away. Lucas Dubau steamed on towards the win while his twin brother Joshua Dubau also profited from Peeters’ crash and made it a Dubau 1-2 in Valkenburg.
Next Saturday the cyclo-cross peloton lines up in Tabor, Czech Republic for the second round of the World Cup.
Photo: Dutch Lars Van Der Haar wins in Valkenburg