After his debut win in Boom one week earlier, Van Aert made it two in a row, winning the Ethias Cross in Essen as well. The Belgian Champion finished almost two minutes ahead of Thijs Aerts, and more than 2 minutes ahead of Pim Ronhaar.

Van Aert quickly established a gap, powering away of the rest of the field in the second lap. He was able to keep up his high pace on the muddy course throughout the rest of the race, crossing the line solo for the second weekend in a row.

Wout van Aert:

“Of course I am very satisfied, but it was really heavy. I had to stay focused all the time. Mission accomplished, but it wasn't as easy as it seems. I like to run, but in the deep mud that was something else. The meadow was completely flooded. I hoped beforehand that I could save myself for tomorrow, but during the reconnaissance I realized that that was not possible. It won't be in my favour tomorrow, but at least they can't take this victory away from me. The focus is now fully on Val di Sole. Tomorrow we will have very different conditions with ice and snow. It will be harder to make a difference early in the race. Whoever can deal best with those specific conditions will win.”