After being isolated from the first kilometers with Wout Van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel proved to be the strongest in the sprint to win a fifth title of cyclo-cross world champion on home soil.
Mathieu van der Poel finds the rainbow jersey. Already winner in 2015 then titled three times in 2019, 2020 then 2021, the Dutchman could not defend his chances in Fayetteville last year and had revenge to take. On his land, in Hoogerheide, the grandson of Raymond Poulidor knew that his closest rival could only be Wout Van Aert. An announced duel that wrote the scenario of a race led at breakneck speed on the circuit drawn by… Adrie van der Poel. If Lars van der Haar had the best start, Mathieu van der Poel decided to blow up the race at the first difficulty with only one rider who was able to take his wheel, Wout Van Aert. The duo made a vacuum around them from the conclusion of the first round, the competition being clocked in at sixteen seconds. The Belgian then made the decision to support his opponent by taking stints and the result was a gap that grew with a group of pursuers with Gerben Kuypers, Michael Vanthourenhout. A time behind, Eli Iserbyt and Lars van der Haar were able to make the connection.
🌈 WORLD CHAMPION 🌈
It’s Mathieu van der Poel 🇳🇱#Hoogerheide2023 pic.twitter.com/4ydRsIYTDN
— UCI Cyclocross (@UCI_CX) February 5, 2023
Van der Poel trop fort pour Van Aert
After being neutralized for a time, Mathieu van der Poel and Wout Van Aert restarted their duel in the seventh lap. Skirmishes which did not allow the Dutchman to outrun the Belgian, who preferred to opt for resisting the attacks of his rival rather than trying to attack. A scenario that was maintained until the last lap. The Belgian then tried to avoid an explanation to the sprint which finally took place. A duel of titans that ended with the victory of a length of Mathieu van der Poel, who was able to surprise Wout Van Aert. Behind, another Belgian-Dutch duel took place for the bronze medal. After making the difference against Michael Vanthourenhout and Gerben Kuypers, Eli Iserbyt took the advantage over Lars van der Haar to take the bronze medal. Very early left behind in this world championship, Clément Venturini took tenth place on the finish line, a minute and a half behind Mathieu van der Poel. The latter returns to the height of Albert Zweifel, André Dufraisse and Renato Longo with a fifth title of world champion. The grandson of Raymond Poulidor thus returns to two lengths of Eric De Vlaeminck, holder of the record for rainbow jerseys in cyclo-cross.
CYCLO-CROSS / WORLDS 2023 (M)
Elite Race Ranking – Sunday February 5, 2023
1- Mathieu van der Poel (PBS) and 1h07’20”
2- Wout Van Aert (BEL) mt
3- Eli Iserbyt (BEL) at 12”
4- Lars van der Haar (PBS) à 13”
5- Michael Vanthourenhout (BEL) at 46”
10- Clément Venturini (FRA) at 1’30”