Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) dominated Sunday’s second round of the Superprestige series in Zonhoven.
The victor in round one at Gieten, Van Aert did it again in Zonhoven, this time beating teammate Rob Peeters and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) by more than a minute.
Van Aert said it wasn’t his plan to ride away with the race.
“I got a gap and I just kept driving,” he said. “My pace was just higher than that of the rest. It’s a nice feeling to dominate the race.”
Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) made a race of it early on, but faded, and found himself battling for fourth with Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Games). That was a fight Nys won, with an assist from a crash by the young Dutchman.
Van Aert gave it the gas about 15 minutes into the race, opening a gap coming out of the sand pit. A battle for second saw Peeters, Pauwels, van der Haar and Nys all in contention, but Van Aert extended his advantage to more than a minute as the race raged on.
The last trip through the sand pit saw van der Haar crash, while Peeters and Pauwels fought a disputed sprint for second, a prize that the jury awarded to Peeters.
Nys and van der Haar followed at 1:20.
“That last lap in the pit is impossible to describe if you have not been there,” said Van Aert. “Then you realize what you are actually doing. This is a special cross. … It gave me a kick.”
Van Aert now leads the Superprestige series with 30 points. Van der Haar sits second with 25, followed by Nys with 24.
The next round of the series will be November 8 in Ruddervoorde.