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by Mark Zalewski
December 30, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van Aert extends series lead with Azencross win; Sanne Cant wins Azencross; Frustrations as no proof of innocence given to parliament in Wiggins case; Syncing with Sagan: Sam Bennett looks ahead to 2017; Van der Poel okay after hard crash; Stybar makes return to cyclocross in Azencross; More questions arise from Tour of Qatar cancellation; Family of fallen cyclist calls for safer roads; Jens Voigt to ‘Everest’ Berlin Teufelsberg hill for charity; Video: Best of 2016 by bike; Ride along with Wout van Aert.
Wout van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) added another victory in less than a week, winning a foggy Azencross Loenhout in Antwerp ahead of Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea Lions) and Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games).
Van Aert extended his overall lead in the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee to 2’39 over Pauwels.
While Van Aert did not repeat the great start like he had in the World Cup last weekend, he was able pick his way through traffic to take the early lead. Van Aert was part of a group of seven who were still together on the penultimate lap, including Dutch champion Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon), Pauwels, Meeusen, Toon Aerts (Telenet–Fidea), Michael Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Napolean Games) and Corné Van Kessel (Telenet–Fidea).
Midway through the lap van der Poel crashed hard trying to close a gap and respond to an attack by Aerts. Van der Poel was stretchered off the course and taken to hospital, but was later released.
The slippery conditions definitely played a factor in the racing, with many other riders crashing. Van Aert was able to ride away on the final lap for the win.