Mathieu van der Poel (right) and Wout van Aert battle it out in the waves for the cyclocross world title.

Gallery: Sand, sea, and Dutch dominance at Cyclocross Worlds

by Matt de Neef

photography by Kristof Ramon

There were 12 podium places available at the Cyclocross World Championships in Oostende, Belgium this past weekend. By Sunday afternoon, eight of those 12 spots had been taken by Dutch riders, including the top step in all four races.

Nowhere was the Dutch dominance more pronounced than in the elite women’s race. The Netherlands swept the podium and put five riders in the top 10. In the U23 men’s and U23 women’s races, Dutch riders stood on two of the three podium steps. Only one Dutch rider made it to the podium in the elite men’s race, but it was the most important step of all.

As you’ll see below, the seaside course in Oostende proved to be a striking backdrop for the weekend’s racing, with riders churning through the sand as waves crashed onto and around them. As ever, Kristof Ramon has done a stellar job of capturing all the action.

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