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by Matt de Neef
December 5, 2016
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van Aert, De Jong claim Superprestige CX wins at Spa-Francorchamps; Froome on Wiggins: “There are questions for Brad to answer”; Katusha-Alpecin outlines 2017 season goals; Durbridge keen to continue Classics progression in 2017; Team Illuminate to add women’s team in 2017; Emakumeen Bira moved to May in 2017; Cycle-ball highlights from the Indoor Cycling World Championships; Artistic cycling highlights from the Indoor Cycling World Championships.
It was a day for the world champions at the Hansgrohe Superprestige in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium on Saturday with Thalita de Jong (Rabo-Liv) and Wout van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) taking top honours in round 5 of the CX competition.
In the elite women’s race de Jong got clear early in a group of four before crashing on a second lap descent. The 23-year-old was able to work her way from fourth to the head of the race, before going on to win ahead of Sanne Cant (Enertherm-Beobank) and Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans).
“I needed some time to catch my breath,” de Jong said of her crash. “I tried to regain focus and avoid new mistakes. I got back to Sanne and Christine and then I just rode my own race. It turned out to be enough to make a difference.”
In the elite men’s race Belgian Wout van Aert was able to deny Dutch rival Mathieu van der Poel his fifth straight Superprestige win of the 2016/17 season, getting away on a steep run-up (see feature image above) to open a gap and ride away to victory. Van der Poel was second while Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea) rounded out the podium.
“It was nice to win again,” said van Aert. “I’m simply very happy here. Whether this victory is a response to the criticism of the last month? Well, I knew the shape was good. I never doubted and am glad I showed it today … the main conclusion today is that I have gained back some confidence with this victory for the busy month of December.”