2018 European Power Rankings – Week 4

The European cyclocross season was in full swing this past weekend with nine races taking place in eight countries. There were two races as part of the Brico Cross series and half a dozen other races, including a C1 race as part of the EKZ CrossTour. Most of the riders in this weeks rankings did Meulebeke on Saturday and/or Ronse on Sunday. Two riders on the list took the weekend completely off, as they returned to Europe after a long stint in the US. Mathieu van der Poel was finally back in action and picked up right where he left off, by dominating both days of racing.

 

kevin-pauwels
10. Kevin Pauwels
Last week: n/a

The oldest rider on this list, Pauwels seemed to struggle this past weekend. He finished 14th on Saturday and did not finish on Sunday. He simply looked unable to hold the pace of the first and second group. When things get muddy he still has a shot at the podium, so we are putting him in the tenth spot this week.

tim-merlier
9. Tim Merlier
Last week: n/a

Merlier was unable to finish on Saturday, but finished ninth on Sunday in Ronse. He’s a consistent top ten finisher and may soon become a podium threat. It will be interesting to see how he progresses this season.

david-van-der-poel-ekz-baden
8. David van der Poel
Last week: n/a

David van der Poel continues to impress with a second place at the EKZ CrossTour. The C1 race in Switzerland may have been slightly overshadowed by the Brico Cross races. However, his second place finish on a tough course with a deep field, was enough to bump him up a few spots this week.

daan-soete
7. Daan Soete
Last week: n/a

One of many riders who only raced one day this past weekend, Soete finished eighth on Sunday. The race featured a large group that didn’t get whittled down until the final few laps. Soete was in the mix and is a consistent top ten finisher.

corne-van-kessel
6. Corne van Kessel
Last week: n/a

Van Kessel took the weekend off after traveling back from the United States. He’s still one of top European riders and should be battling for a podium this weekend.

michael-vanthourenhout
5. Michael Vanthourenhout
Last week: n/a

Vanthourenhout looked great on Saturday. He was in the mix for second place, with Wout van Aert getting away from him at the very end (Mathieu van der Poel was already long gone). Sunday’s 14th place clearly shows that the travel and racing caught up with him. Look for him to be right back in that lead group this weekend.

quinten-hermans
4. Quinten Hermans
Last week: n/a

Hermans skipped Saturday’s race in favor of Sunday’s C1 race in Ronse. The group dynamics played into his favor and he was able to grab the last spot on the podium. Hermans is now a consistent podium threat and looks to continue that trend this weekend.

toon-aerts
3. Toon Aerts
Last week: n/a

After a pair of World Cup victories, Aerts took some well deserved rest. While he bested Wout van Aert, he has not gone up against Mathieu van der Poel this season. It will be interesting to see if he can hang with van der Poel this weekend.

wout-van-aert-zolder
2. Wout van Aert
Last week: n/a

If anything, van Aert is consistent, with a pair of second places this past weekend. That makes four second place finishes in as many races. Clearly, van der Poel is on form. We saw how this played out last season with van Aert getting the rainbow jersey after van der Poel dominated the rest of the season. It looks like van Aert is getting closer to van der Poel, so it will be interesting to see how this weekend plays out.

mathieu-van-der-poel
1. Mathieu van der Poel
Last week: n/a

He’s back. Two races, and two dominating victories, for van der Poel. On Saturday he launched a long range attack and was able to hold off van Aert and Hermans. Sunday, he waited until the end before attacking the lead group and soloing to victory. The question remains: can anyone stop him? We think not.