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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, December 25, 2022

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Wout van Aert seizes second victory of the cyclocross season at the Zilvermeercross

Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma team sent me this report:

Wout van Aert has won the Zilvermeercross in Mol, Belgium (Dec 23). Halfway into the race, the Belgian champion and Mathieu van der Poel rode away from the world champion Pidcock and others. In the final part of the race, he also left the Dutchman on the spot. It is Van Aert's second victory of this cyclocross season.

Van Aert wins in Mol, Belgium.

Van Aert was not rested at the start of the race following an intensive training camp, the reconnaissance for Paris-Roubaix, and yesterday's team presentation. "But if I didn't have faith in a good result, I wouldn't have started here", he said beforehand.

A few moments later, the 28-year-old Belgian made it happen. Van Aert maneuvered his way into an elite group of five riders right away. He and Van der Poel accelerated halfway through the race. Along the way, Van Aert impressed while running on the many sandy sections of the course in Mol. A small gap proved sufficient. The Team Jumbo-Visma rider held the lead until the line, earning his second victory of the season.

"I didn't expect to win here", Van Aert admitted. "Maybe that makes this victory all the more sweet. The first part was mostly about probing and identifying good and bad lines. The second part went a lot better, and I created a gap. I can only be satisfied with today. It's a good start to a hectic period. As a young child, I rode championships here. It's a beautiful course in my home region. I have a lot of great memories here. That makes this win even more brilliant."

Men's race results:

  1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 58min 28sec
  2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) @ 56sec
  3. Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) @ 1min 20sec
  4. Laurens Sweeck (Crelan Fristads) @ 1min 37sec
  5. Quiten Hermans (Tormans) s.t.
  6. Thibau Nys (Baloise Trek Lions) @ 3min 14sec
  7. Corné van Kessel (Tormans) @ 3min 15sec
  8. Gerben Kuypers (Proximus-Alphamotorhomes) @ 3min 27sec
  9. Timo Kielich (Crelan-Fristads) @ 3min 38sec
  10. Witse Meeussen (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) @ 3min 52sec

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Shirin van Anrooij wins the women’s Zilvermeercross

Here is a machine-translation of the organizer’s race report:

Dutchwoman Shirin van Anrooij was able to make the victory gesture for the women at the Zilvermeer. She beat her teammate Lucinda Brand, who is back in good shape after a difficult period. Annemarie Worst squeezed herself through the sand to a fine third place.

Shirin van Anrooij

Shirin van Anrooij has left everyone else behind.

In the first lap, the women warmed up well in the pouring rain at the Zilvermeer. Young Zoë Backstedt, among others, got off to a fast start and set the pace for a while. In the second lap, however, Shirin van Anrooij claimed the lead and did not relinquish it. She put pressure on her competitors and was able to create a significant gap almost immediately. Her teammate Lucinda Brand offered the most resistance but could never threaten van Anrooij.

In the end, Brand had to compete with Annemarie Worst for second place after half the race. Brand was able to stay in second place, but still felt the pressure of Worst all the time. Zoë Backstedt and Aniek van Alphen finished fourth and fifth. Also an honorable mention for Laura Verdonschot, who finished in seventh place in her own district.

Anrooij said afterwards. “Because I quickly came to ride alone, I was able to ride my own lines. That was important on this course. On stage I saw that Lucinda was getting better. It is nice to see that she is back on track.” Her teammate immediately confirmed this: "It's nice to get back into it."

Annemarie Worst had to settle for third place. “The most important thing is that I no longer had any problems with my knee during the match. I immediately feel it afterwards. And I know where I stand after this cross, it remains to be seen how I will survive the busy period with my knee problems.”

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Women's race results:

  1. Shirin van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions) 46min 54sec
  2. Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) @ 48sec
  3. Annemarie Worst (777) @ 1min 11sec
  4. Zoe Backstedt (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) @ 1min 20sec
  5. Aniek van Alphen (777) @ 1min 30sec
  6. Yara Kastelijn (Crelan-Fristads) @ 1min 56sec
  7. Laura Verdonschot (De Ceuster-Bonache) @ 2min 5sec
  8. Clara Honsinger (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) @ 2min 54sec
  9. Leonie Bentveld (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) @ 3min 25sec
  10. Anna Kay (777) @ 3min 33sec

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