Wout van Aert takes a brilliant victory on the Spa-Francorchamps F1 circuit.
A course famous for speed, the the Formula 1® circuit, Superprestige Spa-Francorchamps, confronted the world’s best cyclocross racers with plenty of things to slow them down — demanding technical sections, steep climbs, and mud… make that tons of mud.
Those challenges suited Wout van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) perfectly. On the second lap, the young Belgian ran away and was never challenged for a solo victory of over a minute ahead of Sven Nys. The victory was van Aert's 13th this season, the 4th in the Superprestige Series.
In the U23 Category, Nicolas Cleppe took the biggest victory so far. The U23 Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team is stacked with talent including Cleppe, current European Champion Quinten Hermans, and the Superprestige leader Eli Iserbyt. All ride the SRAM Force 1 groupset.
In the women’s race, Nikki Harris (GBR - Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) led most of the race but on the final lap her fellow countrywomen Helen Wyman passed her to take the 5th round of the Superprestige Series. Nikki finished second, another podium this season.
Results - SRAM’s athletes:
Elite Men – Top 10: Wout Van Aert (BEL) 1st/ Corne Van Kessel (NED) 5th/ Toon Aerts (BEL) 6th/ Thijs Van Amerongen (NED) 7th/ Tom Meeusen (BEL) 9th/ Tim Merlier (BEL) 10th
Elite Women – Top 10: Nikki Harris (GBR) 2nd/ Christine Majerus (LUX) 4th/ Jolien Verschueren (BEL) 5th/ Elle Anderson (USA) 6th/ Ellen Van Loy (BEL) 7th/ Loes Sels (BEL) 8th
U23 – Top 10: Complete podium: Nicolas Cleppe (BEL) 1st/ Yannick Peeters (BEL) 2nd/ Quinten Hermans (BEL) 3rd/ Eli Iserbyt (BEL) 4th/ Thijs Aerts (BEL) 6th
Junior – Top 10: Jarne Driesen (BEL) 2nd
Nicolas Cleppe's Ridley X-Night SRAM Force 1. Nikki Harris rides with the same equipped bike.
Extremly long and steep run-up hill (about 45 degrees gradient).
All photos: Balint Hamvas, Cyclephotos