Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) survived a battle in the mud and ice to win the elite men’s World Cup race in Dublin , taking the honours in only his second cyclocross race of the winter.
The Belgian national champion suffered a bad start and several mechanicals, including a mechanic’s towel in his gears at one point, but chased back each time before surging away to open a gap with just over a lap to race.
Laurens Sweeck (Crelan-Fristads) limited his losses to finish second at 14 seconds and so extend his lead in the World Cup. World Champion Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) seemed set to win with two laps to go only to fall back suddenly. He fought back to take third at 17 seconds.
Van Aert was presented with the towel that blocked his gears by Sporza television interviewer Renaat Schotte and proudly put it around his shoulders and waved it on the podium as he took pride in his win.
“This is pure cyclocross,” Van Aert said, praising the muddy course and the Irish fans who came out to cheer him to his first race in Ireland.
“It’s been a pleasure to meet the Irish fans and it was a really exciting course that changed throughout the day. There was a huge crowd and so I’m really proud to be here. Now I can say I’ve never lost a bike race in Ireland.”
Yet van Aert admitted it had not been easy.“It was a really hard race for me, especially mentally. I had […]
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