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by Matt de Neef
January 30, 2017
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Wout van Aert wins his second World Cyclocross Championship; Sanne Cant crowned World CX Champion – “It’s the most beautiful day of my life!”; Nikias Arndt wins men’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race; Annemiek van Vleuten victorious in women’s Cadel’s Race; Bauke Mollema wins the Vuelta a San Juan, Maximiliano Richeze claims the last two stages; Dan McLay wins Trofeo Palma but is hospitalised following post-race crash; Philadelphia Cycling Classic cancelled for 2017; Alexis Vuillermoz injured in a car crash; How not to pull off after doing a turn at the front; Highlights from the VTWO/CyclingTips Carpark Climb at the Tour Down Under.
Belgium’s Wout van Aert claimed a second consecutive world cyclocross championship in Bieles, Luxembourg, on Sunday after a muddy duel with perennial rival Mathieu van der Poel of the Netherlands.
The 22-year-old, who skipped last weekend’s World Cup race in Hoogerheide due to a knee injury, rode a measured race over a hilly and slippery course, much of it off-camber, with sharp rocks seemingly everywhere, hidden under mud and ice. Van Aert sat sixth after the first lap, made contact with van der Poel on the fourth of eight laps, and then attacked when van der Poel punctured at the end of the fifth lap.
“I really didn’t expect this,” van Aert said. “Last week I went one week without riding, and it seemed like no one believed in me. It was not the best preparation. I just wanted to give full gas for one hour. It was also a pity that bad luck was with Mathieu, but of course I couldn’t wait for that. I’m so happy with my second world title.”
Though the gap between van Aert and van der Poel was 22 seconds after the Dutch rider’s bike change, it expanded each lap. Van der Poel crossed the line in tears, 44 seconds back, left to wonder what might have been.
Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) finished third, 2:09 back, with Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) in fourth, 2:52 down.
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