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by Mark Zalewski
December 24, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van der Poel, Vos take wins at Diegem; UK Anti-Doping Agency investigators search British Cycling HQ; British Cycling names new performance director; Van der Haar to return at Heusden-Zolder; Johan Museeuw rides 24 hours for charity; Brian Cookson offers a year in review; Esteban Chaves voted most friendly by media; Sunday Times editor says dooring article was ‘heavy irony’; London truck drivers given cyclist training; Sagan is not good at everything; Happy holidays!
The season-long head-to-head batthle between Dutch champion Mathieu Van der Poel (Beobank–Corendon) and world champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan–Vastgoedservice) continued under the lights at Diegem, outside Brussels, with Van der Poel adding another win over Van Aert.
Two groups of two eventually formed with Van der Poel and Van Aert on the front, and European champion Toon Aerts (Telenet–Fidea) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) behind. Van der Poel showed he is maintaining his top form, pulling away from Van Aert early on the final lap. Though Van Aert was able to pull back much of the initial gap, it was enough for Van der Poel to hold on for the win. Behind Pauwels got separation from his companion to round-out the podium.
Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) signaled her comeback with a win the women’s race, her first win since this race in 2015, beating Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm – BKCP) by 18 seconds. The most recent World Cup winner Katerina Nash (Clif Bar) took third and was not shocked by Vos’ win.
“I’m never surprised; she has proven herself many times,” said Nash. “I think she is going to get faster every race.”
In the U23 race the world champ Eli Iserbyt had trouble early on with a couple of crashes that required a bike change. In the end it was three together on the sprint with European champ Quinten Hermans taking the win.