Wout van Aert bested Mathieu van der Poel in the latter’s cyclocross season debut on Sunday in the Dendermonde round of the World Cup. The win is Van Aert’s fourth straight this season.
Toon Aerts powered away from the rest of the field early in the race and he was then joined by Van Aert and Van der Poel, who battled at the front over the ensuing laps until Van Aert started to pull away during the fifth lap. Behind, Van der Poel eventually put Aerts in the rearview mirror, but he was unable to make up much ground on Van Aert.
The Belgian national champion powered to a convincing win in the end, crossing the line 49 seconds ahead of Van der Poel with Aerts rounding out the podium a further 29 seconds back.