The fourth round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Namur, Belgium took place today and 20 year-old World champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon) triumphed after a tough battle with Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) in the Elite Men’s race.
The race took place on a challenging course on the slopes of the citadel at Namur. Van Aert, Van der Poel and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) went clear half-way through the race after a big acceleration from Van Aert.
Young French rider Clément Venturini (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) tried to bridge across to the trio but his effort fell short.
On the last long climb, Van Aert put in a big attack which knocked Pauwels out of contention but couldn’t shake off Van der Poel.
The World Champion then countered in the last few hundred metres to gap Van Aert and it was enough to take the victory with Pauwels taking third.
Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) finished in fourth place ahead of European champion Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin).
Van Aert strengthens his lead in the World Cup standings as second-placed Sven Nys only managed a distant eighth place in Namur. Van Aert now leads Nys by 29 points. Van der Haar is third at 35 points.
The next round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup takes place at the motor racing circuit in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium on December 26.