Van der Poel is also represented in the Gavere classification with his fourth win this winter

Mathieu van der Poel won his fourth cyclocross race this winter. The athlete of the year left the competition in Gavere, Belgium, by far.

The entire world leadership participated in the Christmas cross. Wout van Aert could not keep up with his opponent’s speed in the first round and had to settle for second place. Brit Tom Pidcock finished third ahead of Dutchman Joris Nieuwenhuis and Lars van der Haar.

Van der Poel and Van Aert had to start from second place as they did not participate in many cyclocross races this winter. Van der Haar, who was at the top of the World Cup rankings, took the lead.

In the middle of the first lap, Van der Haar was overtaken first by Van der Poel and a little later by Van Aert. Gavere’s third major, Pidcock, had a poor start and had to move up from 25th.

careless latecomer

At the end of the first lap, Van der Poel had an eight-second lead over his arch-rival Van Aert. Van der Haar and Nieuwenhuis were behind them.

After three laps, Van der Poel’s lead had grown to over half a minute. The world champion cruised to victory unchallenged, despite having to push careless final player Felipe Nystrom Spencer aside as he edged out Costa Rica by one lap.

Van der Poel managed to avoid a minor accident in the fifth of seven races. The world champion’s advantage over the rest of the field was huge.

Van der Poel crossed the finish line 36 seconds ahead of Van Aert. Pidcock overtook Nieuwenhuis and Van der Haar on the last lap and crowned the overtaking race in third place.

Three more intersections in 2023

There are three more crosses on Van der Poel’s schedule this year. Thursday and Friday in Belgium (Diegem and Loenhout) and Saturday in Hulst, Zealand.

Van der Poel plans to compete in six more cyclocross races in January before defending his world title in the Czech Republic on February 4.

Source: NOS