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Van der Haar Wins 2014 Cyclocross World Cup No. 1

Van der Haar Wins World Cup 'Cross Opener!

October 19, 2014

Team Giant-Shimano rider Lars van der Haar kicked off the 2014-15 Cyclocross World Cup series with a bang, winning the opening round in front of his home supporters in The Netherlands. The defending World Cup champion conquered the elite men’s race in Valkenburg, home to the famed Cauberg hill that also serves as a battleground for classics races on the road.

Van der Haar edged out his Belgian rival Kevin Pauwels and fellow Dutchman Corné van Kessel to take the win aboard his Giant TCX Advanced Pro team bike. It was his second straight win at Valkenburg following last year's victory here.

Van der Haar got off to a typically fast start on the Valkenburg course, and was joined by Pauwels at the front. The two were together late in the race until Pauwels slid out on a downhill corner. Van der Haar shot ahead on his own, going on to win by 26 seconds.

"From the first lap it went perfectly today," Van der Haar said. "I came in front with Pauwels but then I was alone and didn't expect that. I pushed him too far and he made a mistake."