Wout van Aert has won the Zonhoven World Cup with a great display of power. The Belgian champion took a gap in the third round, which he soon expanded into an unbridgeable breach. Mathieu van der Poel had to settle for second place. In the opening phase of the Zonhoven World Cup, the expected names were right up front. Laurens Sweeck had the best start, but soon Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel took over. However, the latter made a slip, causing him to fall back a bit. Van Aert had a hole, but Van der Poel quickly closed the breach. As a result, we got three front runners: Van Aert, Van der Poel and Michael Vanthourenhout.
Van der Poel falls, Van Aert continues
Laurens Sweeck was also able to make the connection again in the second round. At least, for a moment. After a new acceleration from Van Aert, the leading group crumbled again. Free bets placed on any other rider were getting more interesting. Van der Poel needed a while, but was able to make the connection at the start of round three. Vanthourenhout and Sweeck did not return immediately. They did get to Van der Poel, who crashed again later in the round. Van Aert also had to get off the pedals, but was quickly back on the bike. He then immediately grabbed a nice hole.
After three of the eight rounds, the difference between Van Aert and the trio behind was sixteen seconds. Then he quickly walked away. Halfway through the race he had a lead of 36 seconds, after five rounds that had become more than a minute. In the sixth round, Van der Poel recovered somewhat. He drove away from Sweeck and Vanthourenhout, but the Dutchman didn’t get any closer to Van Aert. The difference remained about a minute.
Van Aert solos to victory
In the penultimate round, the gap widened even further. Van Aert could therefore start the final round with confidence, where he no longer had to take any risks. He would cross the line first by a wide margin. Van der Poel came in second. Behind that it was a battle for third place between Vanthourenhout and Sweeck. The latter drew the longest straw.