The 2018/19 DVV Trofee finally kicks off Thursday in Oudenaarde with Koppenbergcross. The main feature on the course is its namesake climb, made famous by the Tour of Flanders road race. Rudy Thielemans won the first edition in 1988. The race has been run every year since then, except for 1993-1995. As with most Belgian races, Sven Nys has the most victories, winning it nine times. Last year the race, and series, was won by Mathieu van der Poel.
The race starts at the bottom of the Koppenberg and finishes at the top of the climb. Every lap, except the finale, riders make a right at the top of the climb on to grass and begin, what is ultimately a long decent, back to the base of the climb. Occasionally the course will climb back up a bit, but most of it is tricky off camber decents and turns. While the climb is a very hard challenge, the decent can be just as hard, especially when it is wet.
As previously mentioned, Mathieu van der Poel picked up the victory last year. Unlike most races, van der Poel’s early attack was marked well by Toon Aerts. Aerts took over the lead until the midway point when Lars van der Haar put in a vicious attack. Van der Poel would eventually reel in van der Haar, dropping Wout van Aert in the process. In the end, van der Poel was victorious ahead of Aerts and van der Haar. It was an amazing race to watch, and this year promises to be no different.
- Mathieu van Der Poel
- Wout van Aert
- Toon Aerts
Dark horse: Lars van der Haar