Belgium’s cyclocross sensation Laurens Sweeck (fi’zi:k saddles and Era Real Estate – Circus) finished fourth in round four of the DVV Trophy, in Essen, Belgium, on Sunday. The result leaves Sweeck sixth in the overall DVV Trophy standings at the halfway mark of the acclaimed series that began 30 years ago.

Upfront, Wout van Aert showed the form that won him the 2016 cyclocross world championships, shaking off the pack after just three laps and eventually time-trialling to victory by 18 seconds over Kevin Pauwels.

The real battle happened for third place with seven riders hitting the final lap together. That group included Sweeck. Tom Meeusen led the septet chase group around the 11th and last lap in foggy Essen before narrowly outsprinting Sweeck for third.

Earlier in the weekend at round seven of the Toi Toi Cup in Unicov, the Czech Republic’s leading cyclocross series, Diether Sweeck (fi’zi:k saddles and Era Real Estate – Circus) finished a superb second. The 22-year-old twin of Laurens (they both turn 23 on Saturday 17 December), looked in control from the off, powering to the front. That’s where Diether remained for around three-quarters of an exhilarating race, before Germany’s Marcel Meisen rode through. Meisen pulled away to win in 1:02:58 but Diether dug deep to hold off Czech rider Tomas Paprstka for second.

Both Laurens and Diether fly back to Mallorca today for the second week of the Era Real Estate – Circus’ pre-Christmas training camp. They then return to mainland Europe to race round five of the DVV Trophy in Antwerp next Sunday.