Laurens Sweeck records duo of top-fives

Saturday’s fifth round of the DVV Trophy saw fi’zi:k-riding cyclocross powerhouse Laurens Sweeck (Era – Circus Estate) continue his run of top-five finishes with fourth at Scheldercross, Belgium. Mathieu Van der Poel took the victory.

On a fast course next to the Schelde river, Sweeck, who celebrated his birthday on the same day, overcome a cold to narrowly miss out on a podium spot, finishing just 3 seconds behind Kevin Pauwels in third.

Van Der Poel, runner-up Wout Van Aert and Pauwels broke away early on and it looked like it was game over for the rest of the riders. But Sweeck, Jens Adams and Michael Vanthourenhout joined the leading trio halfway through the penultimate lap of 12.

However, a strong move by Pauwels before the race’s second sandy section saw only Van De Poel and Van Aert hold on. Sweeck could have let his cold beat him and settle for one of the minor placings but that’s not his style. He negotiated the steep climbs and barriers with impressive diligence, and outsprinted Adams and Vanthourenhout for a well-deserved fourth place.

The result leaves Sweeck in fifth place of the DVV Trophy after five of the eight rounds. Sweeck’s twin brother, Diether, was also celebrating his birthday and couldn’t start because of a chest infection, while their older brother Hendrik Sweeck (fi’zi:k and Era – Circus Estate) finished 28th.

A day later, the world’s best cyclocross riders headed to Namur in the Wallonia region of Belgium for the World Cup. Despite his illness, Laurens Sweeck finished fifth behind winner Mathieu Van Der Poel. Diether summoned all his strength to come in 23rd.