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Van Aert wins muddy cyclocross in hometown Herentals

Van Aert wins muddy cyclocross in hometown Herentals

Wout van Aert has clinched his first victory of the cyclocross season. In his hometown Herentals, the 26-year-old Team Jumbo-Visma rider beat world champion Mathieu van der Poel, who had to deal with a puncture halfway through.

In the early part of the race, it became clear that it was going to be a duel between ‘the big two’. Van der Poel set the pace on the tough and slippery course and Van Aert almost always followed within a few seconds. After a flat tire from the world champion, the winner of Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche was able to create an unbridgeable gap.

“I am really happy with this. Of course I had a stroke of luck because of Mathieu’s flat tire. I really wanted to win today. It all went well, then you can force a victory”, a delighted Van Aert said.

"The big battle did not come to a climax today, but the mutual respect is great."

Wout van Aert

Van der Poel put the best one-day cyclist of the 2020 road season under pressure from the start. “I started with too low tire pressure. That was a major reason for why I was a little behind every time. I came back to Mathieu and when I had created a gap, I realised he had a flat tire. I immediately gained an advantage of half a minute and I was able to keep it. The big battle did not come to a climax today, but the mutual respect is great.”

On Boxing Day and the day after, the cyclocross races in Zolder and Dendermonde are next on Van Aert’s program.

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