For the first time in 7 editions, Mathieu van der Poel was unable to win the evening cross in Diegem. Together with Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock, he again provided the show, but Van der Poel surprisingly had to drop out first. In the end, Van Aert dealt with Pidcock just before the sprint.
Mister Diegem, Mathieu van der Poel, wanted to control the evening cross for the 7th time in a row. His main accomplice? The sandbox halfway through the circle. Not one, two, but three attempts in the sand were needed to shake Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock out of the wheel. The Dutchman prevailed with superior technique and drove away for about ten seconds. But the Big Three wouldn’t deserve that name if they didn’t reunite. That also followed in round 6. And suddenly the roles were reversed and the Belgian champion chose the hare path. Van der Poel cracked, the end of Pidcock’s heroic story was not yet in sight.
Pidcock versus Wout van Aert
Pidcock and Van Aert stayed close to each other in the last few rounds. Both were waiting for the other to make a mistake. Every time one of them made a minor error, the other took back the last. Pidcock got the last back in the last round. The Brit drove side by side with Van Aert until the very last corner, where the latter made the difference on a pile of mud.
Wout van Aert’s gesture of victory spoke volumes: completely broken, but very happy with his 1st victory in Diegem. It was his second victory in a row after yesterday in Zolder. Pidcock and Van der Poel complete the stage, ahead of soloist Eli Iserbyt who made a strong return. It has been another very exciting race. These three riders get the very best out of themselves and out of the others. When any sports reaches it highest levels, with such amazing athletes, we can only sit back and enjoy.