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He did it again

Wout van Aert extended his winning streak to three in a row after a stunning performance in Val di Sole. The Belgian finished nearly a minute before Michael Vanthourenhout. Tom Pidcock claimed third place and was additional 40 seconds behind.

The women’s race offered far more excitement. Fem van Empel finished just six seconds ahead of Marianne Vos. The 19-year-old was on defence in the finale and Vos was looking to overtake. However, Vos clipped a fence, fell off her bike and Van Empel was able to ride away and win.

“I was disappointed after that mistake in the last corner but I’m still happy,” Vos said after the finish. “I’m glad I could still fight for the win. But Fem rode great, and I know I made a mistake and couldn’t make it right.”

“We have seen a lot of spectacle [here]. This is sport at the highest level and in a great location. This race has proven that you can do cyclocross anywhere,” Van Aert said of his day in the snow. “In a park in a big city but also in the mountains. We have proven that. It’s great that I was able to experience it and that I’m part of it.

“I will return to Dendermonde but I won’t be there next week because of a training camp with the team,” Van Aert continued of what lies ahead this winter period. “And after that, I’ll ride a full Christmas period with almost all the races. In any case, this was a good start to the season and I hope for a good remainder of the season.”

Men’s race

  1. Wout van Aert (Bel) – 59:27
  2. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) + 49 seconds
  3. Tom Pidcock (GBr) + 1:28
  4. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) + 1:44
  5. Quinten Hermans (Bel) + 2:15
  6. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) + 2:16
  7. Kevin Kuhn (Sui) + 2:29
  8. Daan Soete (Bel) + 2:46
  9. Toon Vandebosch (Bel) + 3:36
  10. Corné van Kessel (Ned) + 3:52

Women’s race

  1. Fem van Empel (Ned) – 51:50
  2. Marianne Vos (Ned) + 6 seconds
  3. Maghalie Rochette (Can) + 11 seconds
  4. Eva Lechner (Ita) + 23 seconds
  5. Denise Betsema (Ned) + 45 seconds
  6. Hélene Clauzel (Fra) + 2:03
  7. Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) + 2:07
  8. Sanne Cant (Bel) + 2:42
  9. Puck Pieterse (Ned) + 2:54
  10. Silvia Persico (Ita) + 3:35

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After all this time? Always