Mathieu van der Poel wins back the rainbow jersey in Bogense
03 February 2019 01:59
After three years of drought Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) finally won the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships again on Sunday afternoon. On the fast, technical course in the picturesque coastal town Bogense, Denmark, the 24-year-old distanced defending champion Wout van Aert (Belgium) just before halfway point. Amongst huge, noisy crowds in sunny Bogense, Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup winner Toon Aerts (Belgium) finished third, a short distance from Van Aert. It's the second big win of the season for Van der Poel after winning the European championships in November, and comes after he won all but one of the other races he participated in. "There was a lot of weight coming off my shoulders when crossing that finish line. It was a very long race for me. Finally it comes together again," Van der Poel said in the post-race flash interview.ADVERTISEMENT "I've had an incredible season so far and I was very confident today but still, it's a world championship and it's always hard to win. I'm glad I can wear the jersey again. It's been too long." Straight from the start in the Bogense old harbour, Van der Poel was present near the front in the field of 58 riders. In stark contrast with most races this season, Van der Poel was unable to blast away within the first few minutes of the race. Van Aert and Aerts exchanged accelerations during the opening laps and Van der Poel was forced into a more defensive role. During the third lap, there were still eight riders together in front with all the big names but also an impressive Felipe Orts Lloret (Spain). Van der Poel then approached the tricky off-camber climb in the lead. The Dutch champion tackled the obstacle to perfection - as he did in nearly every lap - while Aerts slipped away. Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) briefly rode into second position and allowed Van der Poel to ride away. Aerts and Van Aert showed determination and launched a wild pursuit of Van der Poel.
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