Dominance of Mathieu van der Poel in Zonhoven
In the 12th leg of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Zonhoven, Mathieu van der Poel displayed his unwavering pursuit of a 10th consecutive victory. The world champion started a solo midway through the race and successfully completed it.
Joris Nieuwenhuis (Baloise Trek Lions) initially took the lead, but Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) swiftly joined the front group. By the second lap, a trio of riders, including Van der Poel, established a 9-second lead. Van der Poel attacked in the fourth lap and powered up a section where others had to dismount, creating an immediate gap and rapidly increasing his lead to 12 seconds.
By the fifth lap, his advantage stretched to 13 seconds, and in the sixth, he left the chasing quartet trailing by 28 seconds. As they entered the seventh lap, Van der Poel's lead ballooned to an impressive 41 seconds, cementing his dominance. The final lap witnessed Nieuwenhuis in pursuit, while Sweeck (Crelan - Corendon) and Ronhaar (Baloise Trek Lions) grappled with challenges, underscoring Van der Poel's exceptional form in Zonhoven.