Solo Van Der Poel Rules Worlds

Replay: 2020 UCI CX Worlds Elite Men

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Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel, now already one of the stars of the peloton, flew over the World Championships cyclo-cross, Sunday, in Dübendorf near Zurich (Switzerland).

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Leading from start to finish, Van der Poel won his third title in elite, after those of 2015 and 2019. Then he had delighted his grandfather Raymond Poulidor, who died in the fall.

"This is one of my best races," he said. "I wanted to go on the attack right away because, with the mud, it would have been difficult to come back up if I found myself behind. I felt very strong."

The Dutchman (25) ended the suspense in the first of the seven laps of the very muddy circuit of Dübendorf. He took the first corner ahead and buried his opponents, who saw him ride away over the ensuing laps.

They had five in the first chase group, but the Belgian armada were declined a silver medal when they saw Briton Tom Pidcock ride free at the end of the third round.

Belgian was left for the final medal, bronze, which went to Toon Aerts. The worst result for Belgium since 2008, which went to Sven Nys. Today his son, Thibau, conquered the junior title.

For Van der Poel, also from a cycling family (his father Adri won the world title in cyclo-cross and his mother Corinne is the daughter of Poulidor), the 2020 season has just started. He will dedicate himself to the road during the classics period that he started to tackle last year (winner of the Amstel Gold Race and 4th of the Tour of Flanders). He will also race Paris-Roubaix, before switching to the mountain bike to tackle to Olympic gold in Tokyo.

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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is the kickoff weekend for the spring classics, specifically the cobbled classics. At 200 kilometers long, Omloop is not as big a day in the saddle for the men as the Tour of Flanders, but Omloop asserts itself on the calendar in ways other than distance. 

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