Van Aert and Pidcock in Gavere Boxing Day Clash
Belgium’s Wout van Aert and Britain’s Tom Pidcock both picked up vital World Cup points with podium finishes at the UCI World Cup clash in Gavere, Belgium on Boxing Day.
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Gavere Highlights
– Conditions were tough from the outset at the Christmas meeting, with heavy mud forcing competitors to switch regularly between running and riding, and adding to the already challenging set of punishing climbs and tricky descents offered by the classic Belgian course.
– Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) was the first rider to make a break, opening up a 10-second gap on the opening laps, but was soon pegged back by both Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).
– Van der Poel was the next to open up clear air as he forged what looked like a race-winning lead following a break on the third lap. However, in a race that ebbed and flowed between the so-called ‘big three’, Pidcock and van Aert briefly hauled him in to within a couple of seconds.
– That was as close as the pair would get for the remainder of the race, though. The Dutch four-time World Champion turned on the power to surge clear once more and win the race by 27 seconds from van Aert, with Pidcock another 27 seconds further out.
– Speaking after the race, van Aert, 28, said: “From the start, I was chasing. I was never in the rhythm I wanted. I must be happy with second place, it was the highest possible for me.”
– Pidcock, 23, added: “It was a very heavy race. Over the last few laps I really felt it, especially during the running sections, where I was struggling to clip back in afterwards.”
– The UCI Cyclocross World Cup circuit stays in Belgium for the Zonhoven meeting on January 8.
UCI Cyclocross World Cup Gavere Men’s results
- Mathieu van der Poel (NLD) Alpecin-Deceuninck 57m 14s
- Wout Van Aert (BEL) Jumbo-Visma +27s
- Tom Pidcock (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers +54s
Photographer Credit: Kristof Ramon / Red Bull Content Pool