Preview Dwars door het Hageland 2023 | Get ready, because Van der Poel is back! Cycling

Preview Dwars door het Hageland 2023 | Get ready, because Van der Poel is back!

Preview Dwars door het Hageland 2023 | Get ready, because Van der Poel is back!

Climbs and unpaved roads. That's the concise summary of the ever challenging Dwars door het Hageland. There's an exciting twist for this edition, as Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) is making his comeback in preparation for the Tour de France! walks you through all the interesting facts!

Last year, Dwars door het Hageland was one big celebration for Alpecin-Deceuninck and Oscar Riesebeek. After a fierce attack in the finale, the Dutchman secured his first professional victory and saw his teammate Gianni Vermeersch cross the line in second place. Florian Sénéchal (Soudal-Quick Step) had to sprint with a flat tire and finished third.

Van der Poel himself last participated in 2017 and managed to win the race after a titanic battle with Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). The two constantly challenged each other during a muddy edition on the gravel, and Van der Poel emerged victorious in the power sprint. A young Taco van der Hoorn finished second at that time, ahead of Van Aert.

Practical information Dwars door het Hageland 2023

  • Aarschot - Diest (182.4 km)
  • Saturday, June 10th, 2023
  • Participants
  • Classification: 1.Pro

In this article

  • Most recent winners
  • Course, weather and times
  • Favorites
  • TV information

Most recent winners Dwars door het Hageland 

2022 Oscar Riesebeek
2021 Rasmus Tiller
2020 Jonas Rickaert
2019 Kenneth Vanbilsen
2018 Krists Neilands
2017 Mathieu van der Poel
2016 Niki Terpstra

Course, weather and times Dwars door het Hageland 2023

Preview Dwars door het Hageland 2023 | Get ready, because Van der Poel is back!

Compared to last year, there is one change in the race: this time, the course is 800 meters longer. Other than that, almost everything else remains the same, and this continues to be an incredibly challenging race. 23 kilometers in, the Schoonhovendreef marks the first climb of the day, followed quickly by the unpaved roads. Due to all the twists and turns in the course, it seems difficult for a breakaway group to establish a significant lead.

After approximately 72 kilometers, the peloton crosses the finish line for the first time, and one would think that the Grasbos holds the key climbs of the local circuits. However, this is not entirely true. The unpaved roads and especially the finishing straight make it even tougher. The Citadel of Diest traditionally serves as a beautiful finale to a grueling day in the saddle. The 500 meter climb at 5.1 percent always provides stunning visuals, particularly because it is on cobblestones. Whoever reaches the top first, after enduring substantial climbs and some seriously dusty stretches of road, gets the honor of victory.

23.0 km: Schoonhovendreef (0.8 km at 5.5%)
63.2 km: Grasbos (1 km at 4.8%)
67.4 km: Citadel (0.5 km at 5.1%)
85.2 km: Schoonhovendreef (0.8 km at 5.5%)
125.4 km: Grass Forest (1 km at 4.8%)
129.4 km: Citadel (0.5 km at 5.1%)
148.9 km: Grass Forest (1 km at 4.8%)
152.7 km: Citadel (0.5 km at 5.1%)
172.2 km: Grass Forest (1 km at 4.8%)
176 km: Citadel (0.5 km at 5.1%)

Unpaved roads
36.7 km: Grootbroekstraat (5,400 meters)
45.4 km: Demervallei (3,300 meters)
59.1 km: Demerdijk Zichem (4,000 meters)
98.6 km: Grootbroekstraat (5,400 meters)
107.4 km: Demervallei (3,300 meters)
121.1 km: Demerdijk Zichem (4,000 meters)
134.4 km: Prinsenbos (1,000 meters)
144.4 km: Demerdijk Zichem (4,000 meters)
157.7 km: Prinsenbos (1,000 meters)
167.7 km: Demerdijk Zichem (4,000 meters)


The weather gods are truly favoring the riders during this race. It is currently full-on summer in Belgium, and the temperature even reaches thirty degrees Celsius at its peak. However, wind chill temperature will be even warmer due to the lack of wind.


Start: 1:00 p.m.
Finish: approximately 5:15 p.m.

Favorites Dwars door het Hageland 2023

Please note that the list of participants is not yet official, so changes may still be made.

Well, there is little doubt as to who will be the top favorite for this race. The rest of the starting field will have to find a way to defeat Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck). Of course, the Dutchman has recently done limited racing, but he has already proven in the past that he needs little to no races in order to be in top form. And if Van der Poel can't manage to lock in the victory, Alpecin-Deceuninck still has plenty of other options with Dries De Bondt, Timo Kielich and Gianni Vermeersch.

Of course, there are plenty of sprinters and time trialists who can give Van der Poel a hard time. In particular, Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X) knows how to handle such situations. The cunning Norwegian seems to be on the right path for the Tour de France, as he recently won the final stage of the Tour of Norway. Kristoff will have Søren Wærenskjold as his lead-out and backup, while his teammate Rasmus Tiller has already secured a victory in this race in 2021. Intermarché-Circus Wanty will also get to bet on two horses, just like in the Giro d'Italia. Niccolò Bonifazio and Arne Marit will travel to Belgian territory.

Preview Dwars door het Hageland 2023 | Get ready, because Van der Poel is back!
Arne Marit made a good impression during the Giro

There are also a few sprinters at the start who have a small question mark next to their names. How are David Dekker and Jenthe Biermans (both Arkéa Samsic) doing? Are they capable of keeping up on the challenging course and participating in the sprint? Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech) is another one to watch, as the Italian showed his speed in early May, leaving riders such as Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Dstny) behind in Tro Bro Léon.

In this race, a victory from a breakaway is also a plausible scenario, so there are many strong time trialists in the mix. From that perspective, let's also keep an eye on Yves Lampaert, Casper Pedersen (both Soudal-Quick Step), Sep Vanmarcke (Israel-Premier Tech), Laurenz Rex (Intermarché-Circus Wanty) and Florian Vermeersch (Lotto-Dstny). Hopefully, the broadcast of the race will start on time, especially because these riders will want to start setting things in motion early on in the race. How else can you keep Van der Poel from taking the win...?

Favorites Dwars door het Hageland 2023, according to

Top favorite: Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
Outsiders: Alexander Kristoff, Rasmus Tiller (both Uno-X), Dries De Bondt, Timo Kielich (both Alpecin-Deceuninck), Yves Lampaert (Soudal-Quick Step) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech)

Longshots: Jenthe Biermans, David Dekker (both Arkéa Samsic), Laurenz Rex (Intermarché-Circus Wanty), Sep Vanmarcke (Israel-Premier Tech), Casper Pedersen (Soudal-Quick Step), Florian Vermeersch (Lotto-Dstny), Niccolò Bonifazio, Arne Marit (both Intermarché-Circus Wanty) and Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Deceuninck)

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TV Dwars door het Hageland 2023

If you want to see Van der Poel in action, Eurosport and Sporza are the places to be. However, Eurosport will only broadcast the race on digital channels, due to Roland Garros and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Of course, will also keep you updated on everything you need to know!

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