Mathieu van der Poel, Puck Pieterse boss World Cup Besançon

This article originally appeared on Velo News

Puck Pieterse and Mathieu van der Poel scored convincing wins at the World Cup Besancon.

With no Wout van Aert at the race, Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuncinck) played it conservatively in the earlier laps before making a huge attack on lap four of nine and immediately getting a significant gap on the chasing group of seven.

The Dutchman's eventual winning margin was 49 seconds ahead of Laurens Sweeck (Crelan Fristads), with Joris Nieuwenhuis (Baoloise Trek) in third at 52 seconds.

Victory sees Van der Poel carry momentum into the world championships next weekend.

“I felt pretty good,” Van der Poel said, noting he had no back problems.

“It was a fast course. It depends on the weather conditions next week, but for sure I can feel happy with how I felt today and hopefully with some rest next week I’ll feel at my best.”

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In the women's race, Pieterse (Alpecin Deceuninck) went largely unchallenged in the absence of her closest rivals Fem van Empel (Jumbo-Visma) and Shirin van Anrooij (Baloise Trek), who both opted to race the X2O Trofee in Hamme on Saturday instead.

<span class="article__caption">Pieterse came back from early problems with another big win in Besancon.</span>
Pieterse came back from early problems with another big win in Besancon.

After recovering from a chain slip early on in the race, which cost her some time Pieterse attacked on lap three stringing out Inge van der Heijden and Annemarie Worst of 777 with Blanka Vas of SD Worx and Zoe Bakcstedt (EF Education TIBCO SVB) just behind.

Later that same lap Pieterse eventually shook off the 777 pair and spent the remainder of the race alone while van der Heijden and Worst continued to chase.

Pieterse's eventual winning margin was 37 ahead of Worst with van der Heijden in third at 43 seconds.

"I had a good feeling today. I got my chain stuck in my front ring In the first lap I think so that was a bit of a bummer but I felt I could get back very strong and then I decided to go solo," Pieterse said after the race.

"It cost a lot of energy. I think maybe I wanted to get back a little too quickly and then I saw it was still a big front group and I could ease off a bit and recover and then I decided to attack."

On her rival Fem van Empel's win the previous day Pieterse said: "We need to show each other what we're worth of course."

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