CW Live: Van der Poel and Pieterse win Herentals CX; Mark Cavendish still not at Astana; Lizzie Deignan awarded MBE; 1.7% of bike theft cases result in a charge; Egan Bernal targets Tour de France return?

Happy new year from Cycling Weekly, here's everything you need to know this Tuesday

Good morning and happy new year from the team at Cycling Weekly. I'm Adam Becket, and it hardly feels like a day since the last time I did one of these exciting live blogs before Christmas.

We hope you had an excellent Christmas, but in the time we were all absent from work news was still happening, news that I hope to bring you today.


Mark Cavendish absent from Astana Qazaqstan team photo

Lizzie Deignan awarded MBE for services to cycling

Just 1.7% of bike theft cases result in a charge

£32.9 million given by Department for Transport to help create a national network of walking and cycling experts

Tom Pidcock out of X2O Trofee Herentals cyclo-cross

Intermarché-Circus-Wanty rider struck by car while training

Egan Bernal to Tour de France - reports 

X2O Trofee Herentals is go

That's the first lap done, with Alvarado 10 seconds behind Pieterse, and Brand four seconds behind that. It is already a stretched race.

Brand has gone round Alvarado into second; Pieterse is still alone up front.

In fourth is Annemarie Worst (777), making it a Dutch front four.

Alvarado has retaken second from Brand in the battle for the closest challenger to Pieterse up front. 

And now Brand is back in second. This is where the cameras are focussing, with Pieterse doing her own thing up front. She has just had a bike change, but still leads the chasing pair.

Pieterse takes a gel out of her shorts as she finishes the second lap in a time of 17-03; Alvarado is 17 seconds behind her, with Brand another six behind the Alpecin rider.

Denise Betsema

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Brand is forced to use the barriers to help herself up the biggest climb, such is the mud and general nastiness of this course - Alvarado is in sight, but it is proving difficult for the Dutchwoman to make a dent in the gap.

Right, here's Pieterse coming over finishing lap three, with no one in sight behind her. There will be six laps overall, with the time stopped at 25-29 for the leader.

If this was a road race, there'd be questions over Alvarado leading Brand in the chase of Pieterse, but with a 41 second plus lead, I'm not really sure it matters. Brand goes again on the flat section of the course.

A second bike change for Pieterse almost goes wrong as she clips Rachel Rubino (Nice Bikes) as she is lapping people in the field now. It is getting pretty hectic at the front and the back of the field.

Lap four for Pieterse completed in 34-07, with two laps still to come. Barring a big mistake, this is surely hers now, as Brand is 38 seconds behind. Alvarado is another 25 seconds behind her now, with Worst 14 seconds further back, and Cant a couple more behind.

Lucinda Brand

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Worst, who looked like was out of podium contention, has now caught up with Alvarado in fourth.

Pieterse completes lap five in 42-43, with Brand 44 seconds behind as the pair head into the final lap. She has a chance to take the lead in the X20 series if her win is big enough.

Pieterse has not been off the podium once in any cyclocross races she has ridden this season, and comes across in first, in 51-33, her seventh win of the season. She is only 20!

Denise Betsema, who was the series leader in the X20 Trofee, finishes 4-23 behind Pieterse in 10th, which means she has now lost the overall lead in the series, which is decided on cumulative time.

Wout van Aert

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Men's X20 Herentals race underway

Van Aert has hit the front for the first time, followed by Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), but the man at the front on the first climb is Jens Adams (Chocovit).

As we will be reminded throughout the afternoon, this is Van Aert's home race, the closest elite CX event to where the Belgian is from. There's a select group of three at the front already: Adams, Van der Poel, and Van Aert.

The next group on the road is made up of Iserbyt, Van der Haar and Pim Ronhaar (Trek Baloise Lions), who are under ten seconds behind the leading trio.

Van Aert, Adams and Van der Poel completed the first lap in 7-35. That is the order they're currently riding in, too.

Van der Poel is now at the front for the first time since the opening lap, with Van Aert behind him. Adams could be distanced her if he isn't careful.

Our leaders went quicker that lap, with the clock stopping at 15-00 after two laps. The chasers are 13 seconds behind. In front, Van Aert then leads from Van der Poel and then Adams.

The elastic might have snapped there over the top of the big hill, formerly used for skiing apparently, for Adams. Van Aert is charging on and Van der Poel is just about following.

There is some debate over the 'big three' but there's no debate over the 'big two', as Van Aert and Van der Poel once again show that they are a class above. The third lap has ended, with the pair at 22-21, with Adams a further three seconds behind.

There are eight laps scheduled in the elite men's race, with three completed.

Last time up the hill Van Aert was in front, now it's Van der Poel's turn. They seem inseparable at the moment, though. The latter has also got rid of his Oakleys at some point, wonder if some lucky fan has them.

Bike change for Van Aert, and he has got rid of his glasses too. He is on SRAM rather than Shimano now, so this might be a big deal for him.

Wout van Aert pressures MAthieu van der Poel on his way to Superprestige victory

(Image credit: Luc Claessen / Getty)

Van Aert, having got back to Van der Poel, is definitely trying to distance his rival now, although the elastic hasn't snapped yet. Behind, Iserbyt is on his own in third. 

Over the line for a fifth time, and the pair at the front are still alone together. They have a time of 36-53. Iserbyt is 44 seconds behind in third, with Van der Haar and Ronhaar are nine seconds further back. Behind them are Hermans, Adams, and the British rider Cameron Mason (Trinity).

Van der Poel is now in front as the leading pair head into the big hill once again. When will the decisive move come?

In the battle for third, Van der Haar has just lost a few seconds to Iserbyt after the former changed the bikes, but there isn't too much distance between them.

Once more over the line, and Van der Poel and Van Aert lead in 44-42. It has gone from muddy to practically a bog at that first corner.

Van Aert attacks onto the athletics track, ahead of the big hill. Is this it?

Immediately, the answer is no, as Van der Poel comes back round again. This ascent up the hill is big, and Van Aert is back in front. He looks stronger at the moment.

For all the storm and thunder, very little actually changed on that lap, with Van Aert and Van der Poel together up front, and Iserbyt and Van der Haar stuck to each other behind.

X20 Herentals: The battle for third is 38 seconds behind, with Cameron Mason alone behind. He couldn't could he?

X20 Herentals: Van Aert and Van der Poel are shoulder to shoulder as they go onto the athletics track for one last time. Here comes the big hill... Van der Poel attacks but Van Aert is equal to it!

X20 Herentals: Van Aert has the lead, but Van der Poel is very much there. It is getting to crunch time in Belgium.

X20 Herentals: Van der Poel has a gap! It looks like Van Aert had a problem with his gearing or his bike, right next to the pits, and this might be race over.

X20 Herentals: Van Aert had a rear wheel puncture at exactly the wrong time, incredibly unfortunate at his home race.

Mathieu van der Poel wins X20 Trofee Herentals

That's it from me today, but one of my colleagues will be back tomorrow to take you through Wednesday in the world of cycling. Have a good evening!

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