Van Alphen sprints to win, solo for Pidcock in Boom

Van Alphen sprints to win, solo for Pidcock in Boom

Cyclo-cross  03/12/2022

Aniek van Alphen wins in Boom after an exciting final lap and a sprint against her fellow countrywoman Betsema. It is the first victory ever in the Telenet Superprestige race for the young Dutch rider. The fourth leg of the Telenet Superprestige was tailor-made for world champion Tom Pidcock. Mathieu van der Poel falling had already had a deciding effect on the cyclo-cross in the second lap. Pidcock then rode solo to victory in Boom.


The riders all got off to a good start, yet the peloton was immediately spread out in the first lap. It was Kata Blanka Vas (SD Worx) who had the best start, followed in her wake by Shirin Van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions). Former world champion Ferrand-Prévot (INEOS Grenadiers) started in a Superprestige competition once more for the first time in three years, but never really managed to compete at the front. Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) won the last two editions of the cyclo-cross in Boom, but struggled with a cold and gave up in the second lap.

There were eventually four frontrunners: Vas, Van Anrooij, Van der Heijden (777) and Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal). They constantly put each other under pressure, with Vas and Van Anrooij leaving the best impression. First, Van der Heijden fell back, and when Betsema had to put her foot on the ground in the sand section, two riders were left in front. In the background, Alvarado (Alpecin-Deceuninck) struggled, the winner of the past two rounds of the Superprestige suffering from illness.

Betsema joined the two leaders once again, and after getting through the sand section nicely, she left the others behind. The Dutch woman had to contend with a flat rear tyre, which meant that she had to get off her bike a few times uphill and take the hills on foot. Van Anrooij and Van Alphen were then able to catch up to her. Not much later, Van Alphen was the only leader, and Van Anrooij was joined by Betsema, who had switched to another bike.

Betsema was clearly having a good day, and she left Van Anrooij behind chasing Van Alphen. She caught up to her fellow countrywoman, with the result that they went into the final lap together. It was clearly just a matter of getting through the section of bars and sand. On reaching the bars, Betsema had a small lead. Unlike Van Alphen, Betsema did not jump, and she also let herself be passed in the short sprint towards the sand. Finally, the two entered the last straight together. In a sprint of the two, it was Van Alphen who narrowly made it. It was her first-ever victory in the Telenet Superprestige. Betsema finished second, but became the new leader in the standings. Van Anrooij completed an entirely Dutch podium.

Tom Pidcock
Tom Pidcock


Swiss champion Kevin Kuhn (Tormans-Acrog) immediately got off to a fast start in his signature style. He was the first to enter the field, followed by Vandeputte (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and world champion Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers), among others. It didn’t take long for the world champion to take control and ride to the lead. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) also got off to a good start and stayed close to Pidcock’s wheel. With a clever manoeuvre in a corner, the Dutchman soon claimed the lead for himself.

Van der Poel and Pidcock rode a nice lead together, but the two could only take advantage of it for a short time. Van der Poel slid down on a stretch of cobblestones and took Pidcock with him in his fall. The Dutchman landed on his knee and was visibly affected. It took a little time before he jumped back on the bike. Van der Poel also had damage to a shoe, which he repaired himself, and he had to change bikes. He resumed the race as second to last and ultimately finished 13th.

Pidcock, who was dragged along in the fall, quickly jumped back on his bike. Because of the delay, he briefly joined Van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions) and Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), but he soon left them behind again. The British racer built up a maximum lead time of half a minute.

In the background, Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) caught up to Van der Haar and Iserbyt, and together they battled for the two remaining podium places. For a while, it looked like Sweeck (Crelan-Fristads) was also going to join the fight, but he couldn’t catch up to them. Fighting for second and third places, the chasers crept closer to Pidcock, but Vanthourenhout dropped behind.

On the final lap, Van der Haar seemed to have the decisive acceleration, but Iserbyt was still able to come back and then put the Dutch champion under pressure himself. The two headed towards the last section of bars and sand. After the sandpit, Iserbyt didn’t get back into his click pedal fast enough, allowing Van der Haar to take enough of a lead and prevent a sprint for second place. World champion Pidcock had successfully completed his solo by then, winning the fourth leg of the Telenet Superprestige in Boom.

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