Lars van der Haar takes handsome victory in Maasmechelen
Lars van der Haar was the strongest in the round of the World Cup in Maasmechelen. In a race that was close for a long time, the Dutch champion attacked three laps from the finish.
Niels Vandeputte had the best start in Maasmechelen. With Michael Vanthourenhout in his wheel, he lead for almost all of the first lap. However, at the end of the lap, Pim Ronhaar managed to pinch a small lead on a hill. European champion Vanthourenhout accompanied the Dutchman at the front.
Entering the third lap, a large group caught up with the two leaders. They played cat and mouse for a long time until Eli Iserbyt upped the pace midway through the race. The large group melted away; only Thibau Nys and Pim Ronhaar were able to follow the leader. Nys was not impressed with the pace that was being set and not much later he take over the lead. Iserbyt made a mistake, leaving Nys alone out in front. The World Cup leader was not faultless either which allowed the rest to reconnect.
After mistakes by Nys and Iserbyt, Lars van der Haar was the next to try to get away. His teammate Nys played the team game in the chase, forcing Iserbyt to take responsibility. However, the rider from Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal made too many mistakes. Laurens Sweeck set the chase in motion with Nys in his wake, but a flat tyre threw a spanner in the works. In the meantime, European champion Michael Vanthourenhout dropped out of the race.
Entering the penultimate round, Nys was fourteen seconds behind Lars van der Haar. He dropped into the material post, which allowed Eli Iserbyt to rejoin him once again. The latter went all out, but the two were unable to get any closer. Van der Haar went into the final lap with a lead of 17 seconds. That final round was too much for Nys. He dropped back to seventh place. Van der Haar's victory was no longer in danger. The new World Cup leader took to the podium flanked by Eli Iserbyt and Laurens Sweeck.