Mathieu van der Poel takes fourth rainbow jersey –

Mathieu van der Poel takes fourth rainbow jersey –

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Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) took his third consecutive world title in Ostende on Sunday.

The Dutchman rode solo through the back half of the cyclocross world championships to make it four victories in four races for his nation’s ‘crossers, and his own fourth elite cyclocross world title.

Wout van Aert (Belgium) took second place around 33 seconds back having ridden a long lonely pursuit of his longtime foe for the second half of the race. Toon Aerts (Belgium) took third while Tom Pidcock (GB) finished fourth.

Van Aert and van der Poel had gone shoulder to shoulder through the opening laps, and it came down to slight errors and moments of misfortune to make the difference between the sport’s two standout riders.

Van Aert took the first advantage in lap 2 when van der Poel twice faltered, only to then suffer a front-wheel puncture in lap 3 as the Dutchman chased him down. Van Aert slowed and had to change bike, allowing van der Poel to ride clear and power away to successfully defend his title.

Full report to follow shortly.

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