In the final world cup, the Belgian champion wins the battle for the overall with a second-place finish.
The battle between Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) and Wout Van Aert for the world cup overall didn’t disappoint on a muddy course in Hoogerheide with the Belgian champion coming out on top over the world champion. Aerts had worn the leader’s jersey since winning the first world cup in Waterloo, USA, at Trek’s headquarters, only losing it last weekend to Van Aert.
The Hoogerheide world cup was a thrilling winner-takes-all between the two rivals.
While Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) took the victory, proving he is the clear favorite next weekend for the world championships, it was the fight for the minor places that proved to be the most electrifying race with the world cup title on the line.
Aerts – wearing the Belgian black, yellow, red tricolor jersey – came out flying and took an early lead that only van der Poel could close in the latter part of the race. It was a strategy that paid off as Van Aert never recovered from an early mistake and found himself chasing the whole race.
While van der Poel eventually caught and passed a tiring Aerts, Van Aert would only come to within 14 seconds, giving Toon time to savor his second-place finish and the overall title as he rode into the finish.
The World Cup season started as a dream with my two victories in the USA. That’s was the laying of the foundation. After America, I only missed the podium twice - with two 4th places. I rode a very consistent World Cup season, and the reward was waiting for me today. This was the main goal of my season, and I did it!
A big day for the Lions
Aerts’ teammate Corné van Kessel was best of the rest in Hoogerheide, finishing fourth after taking the initial lead on the first lap, while other Telenet Fidea Lions notables were Quinten Hermans finishing in seventh and Lars Van Der Haar eighth. The team showed that it is possible for teamwork to play a part in cyclocross, boosting each other all season long and helping out on course where they could.
While Toon Aerts took the overall glory, close behind in the Telenet world cup final standings were three more Lions: Van Kessel (4th ), Hermans (5th), and Van Der Haar (6th).
We are incredibly proud of Toon! Winning the World Cup proves to us he was the most consistent rider throughout the season. We are also proud of Quinten, Corné and Lars. We end the world cup series with four riders in the top six of the GC, and that is huge for a team. If in a race it was possible for the teammates to help Toon out, they did. They showed teamwork all season long, which is not always easy in ‘cross. So it’s a big day for the Lions!
- Karen Ramakers (Manager, Telenet Fidea Lions)