World Champion Wout Van Aert (BEL/Crelan-Vastgoedservice) speeding into 'The Pit'

CX Superprestige Zonhoven 2016

Your Tuesday Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

October 18, 2016

NEWS SUPPORTED BY

In your Tuesday edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van der Poel victorious at Hansgrohe Superprestige Zonhoven; 2017 UCI America Tour calendar includes new races in Colorado, Virginia, Idaho; Sam Bennett a victim of extreme heat at Qatar world championships; Strickland, Stumhofer win inaugural Red Bull Last Stand fixed-gear eliminator criterium at Alamo Plaza; David Millar pens opinion piece in New York Times addressing ‘TUE culture’ in pro cycling; Louis Vuitton luxury goods conglomerate poised to buy Pinarello; Hagens Berman-Supermint bolsters 2017 roster with Aussie Peta Mullens, American Jessica Cerra; Seven-time masters world champion Steve Tilford hospitalized with skull fracture; Video: Brandon Semenuk’s flawless winning run at Red Bull Rampage.

Mathieu Van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) dug extremely deep, and feel to the ground exhausted, after winning the Superprestige Zonhoven 2016. Photo: Kristof Ramon.

Van der Poel victorious at Hansgrohe Superprestige Zonhoven

by CyclingTips

Dutch national champion Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) won his second Superprestige event of the season in Zonhoven, Belgium, Sunday. The former world champion out-sprinted the current world champion, Belgian Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice). Belgium’s Laurens Sweeck (Era Real Estate-Circus) finished in third.

All three podium finishers are under the age of 23, with Sweeck the eldest, turning 23 on December 17. Van der Poel, the youngest, turns 22 on January 19.

Van der Poel and Van Aert quickly rode away from the rest of the field, opening a substantial gap. Sweeck joined them on the final lap but was unable to match their pace. Van der Poel, who missed the American round of World Cup events due to recovery from knee surgery, proved strongest in the two-man sprint for the line, but fell to the ground, exhausted, after crossing the finish line. Sweeck crossed the line 28 seconds back, with Dutchman Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alepcin) in fourth, 46 seconds off the winning time.

 

 

Today’s feature image comes from Kristof Ramon, and shows world cyclocross champion Wout van Aert descending the sand pit at Hansgrohe Superprestige Zonhoven, where he finished second to perennial rival Mathieu van der Poel.

  • Alex

    Probably 100 rides found themselves in a similar situation to Sam Bennett during the world championships, I wonder what makes his story more news worthy than any of those other riders?

    • Neal Rogers

      Fair question, Alex. I’d say two reasons make Bennett’s story more newsworthy: 1. Less than 30 riders made that critical split; 2. He was one of the fastest finishers in the front group. As fast as Cavendish? Maybe not, but Bennett beat Cavendish in a sprint on September 21, on Stage 2 of Giro della Toscana. And he won Paris-Bourges, 10 days before the world championship. So yeah, I’d say his circumstances were different than 100 other riders in that field, particularly given that he’d made the front group in the crosswind split.

      • Alex

        For me, the focus on Bennett still seems an arbitrary choice given his relatively low chances have been meet with disproportionately high coverage from CT (a mention in the World preview on the 14th, a post dedicated solely to him, his season and his chances (you could literally write this same article on any rider participating but he was selected)) and now a clarification on what when wrong for him, seems a lot of noise for a minor player

        • Neal Rogers

          We’ll have to agree to disagree. As I mentioned, not “literally any rider” made the critical split in the wind— 26 did. Even Greipel missed it. And not “literally any rider” beat Cavendish in a sprint a few weeks before worlds.

          • Alex

            So the justification for his heightened exposure is one victory against Cavendish? I’m just saying the attention he has received hasn’t seemed commensurate when you have a field of riders on stronger national teams with proven track records in much bigger races on numerous occasions. If Bennett gets three mentions in 4 days because he beat Cavendish once then what does Boonen deserve for having one of the strongest teams in the crosswinds, multiple one day monument victories and one of the greatest racing records there is in the Middle – East (he’s won the Tour of Qatar 4 times and come second twice)? Similar arguments could be mounted using several other riders. Fundamentally I’m asking why a rider with a low chance of winning is receiving more attention than those with a high chance? What motivation do you have to focus on Bennett so intensely?

            • Neal Rogers

              One could argue all day long about which riders should or shouldn’t get more or less coverage — although I’m not going to. Boonen’s ride was phenomenal, and it was covered, in our race report. He also had the strongest team, and therefore was protected. Bennett did not have that luxury, and paid the price. Also, Boonen is a big name, and therefore his performance in Doha has already been covered, and quoted, in several media outlets. It’s not hard to find. The heat in Qatar was a big part of the story of this year’s worlds, and a rider in medal contention being forced to abandon from a select group due to heat exhaustion is an interesting side story, the day after the race. It’s not a 3000-word feature, it’s a five-paragraph blurb about one rider’s day — a story that otherwise may not have been told. I’d suggest that if you’re not interested in reading it, just scroll past it. I have no doubt we will be posting plenty of stories about Sagan, Cavendish, and Boonen to keep your attention. And when Bennett starts winning bigger races, maybe our decision will make a bit more sense — just like stories of a 22-year-old Cavendish abandoning the 2007 Tour de France after eight stages may not have made sense to everyone at the time, but do now.

  • Geoff

    It will actually be a pity if LVMH Group buys Pinarello – it will probably mean a move to a focus on brand and image, rather than purely on good bikes. This is the same thing as happened to Mont Blanc when it was bought by Richemont.

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