That is exactly what happened. Through the start/finish, he attacked and there was no response. Neither wanted to be the one to follow. We may see that play-out again between them throughout the Season, which could result in some unexpected wins.
On one occasion I recall MvP hot on Wout van Aert's wheel, when WvA was accelerating off the front. MvP had little trouble passing Toon Aerts with ease to mark the move. Perhaps MvP didn't want to chase his countryman down, although he could have easily done so, as it was pretty obvious that MvP is still on form to win?
It wasn't really because he was a fellow countryman. Lars just took the right moment and both V Aert and VD Poel where looking at each other to close the gap. VD Poel won't give away a present like that to lose his first race. V Aert probably though it was up to VD Poel to close since he is the one to beat, and VD Poel though V Aert needed the win more as he hasn't won yet and is World Champion.
It is going to be interesting to see how the season continues. VD Poel came of the mountainbike on great form while V Aert still seems to grow. But V Aert wants to do the impossible by doing the spring classics and most of the CX races. While even Boom who only done around 10 CX races last year missed endurance for the classics last year.
It's certainly impossible to do them all in peak form. If you had to scrap one of: early season crosses, world championships, spring classics, I know what I'd choose. I think that is in large part the simple explanation of VDP outright dominance in CX right now (apart from VDP being a fantastic and unbelievably talented rider ofcourse, perhaps the outright best on any given day regardless of Van Aerts form).