A decision to prematurely end his tenure in the under-23 ranks and ride with the elites has proved timely for 20-year-old Mathieu van der Poel, who won the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championship, in Tabor, Sunday.
7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

In front of more than 20000 fans van der Poel (Netherlands) became the youngest UCI Cyclo-cross World Champion ever in doing so. He has twice been UCI Cyclo-cross World Champion in the Junior Men category and also the 2013 UCI Road World Champion in the Junior Men category.

Last month Van der Poel decided to race the World Championships in the Elite Men category, just like Sunday's runner-up Wout Van Aert (Belgium). The winner said the switch was the best of his decision of his life. It continues a rich family association with the 'Cross Worlds - 19 years ago his father Adrie became World Champion too in Montreuil, France.

Mathieu van der Poel dominated the hour long race on a technical course in the Bohemian town from start to finish. While he made some mistakes, he clearly found the right balance between technical skills – bunny-hopping the barriers - and power, finishing solo ahead of Belgian Wout van Aert.



Former Dutch champion Lars van der Haar was close behind, and despite his tender age of 23, he was the also oldest rider on the podium.

Van Aert overtook Van der Haar in the final corner and easily out-kicked him in the sprint. Van Aert however was clearly disappointed to be second best. Belgian riders Pauwels, Klaas Vantornout, Tom Meeusen and Gianni Vermeersch claimed the next positions.

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Australia's Paul Redenbach and Garry Millburn both finished three laps down.

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So concluding the UCI World Championships both Belgium and Netherlands tied top of the medal tally with five medals apiece. Belgium claimed one gold and four silver medals while the Netherlands won one gold and four bronze.

UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championship: Elite men, Tabor
1 Mathieu van der Poel (NED) 1hr 09min 12sec
2 Wout Van Aert (BEL) 0:00:15
3 Lars van der Haar (NED) 0:00:17
4 Kevin Pauwels (BEL) 0:01:06
5 Klaas Vantornout (BEL) 0:01:12
6 Tom Meeusen (BEL) 0:01:17
7 Gianni Vermeersch (BEL) 0:02:26
8 Marcel Meisen (GER) 0:02:37
9 Philipp Walsleben (GER) 0:02:43
10 Marco Aurelio Fontana (ITA) 0:02:54