For the time being there is no measure for Mathieu van der Poel in 2021. In the World Cup Cross of Hulst, the world champion was in the lead from start to finish. Wout van Aert defeated Pidcock in the battle for 2nd place and remains the leader.

Wout Van Aert keeps the leader jersey with one more leg to go! (photo Belga)

Also in his third cross in as many days there was still no wear on Van der Poel’s legs. The fast start was for Toon Aerts, but he asked Van der Poel in a strip in the wind to take over the lead. The right choice? The Dutchman certainly took the opportunity with both hands. The world champion looked back, saw that Van Aert was too far, and started a solo of 9 laps. And after more than an hour of racing, Van der Poel let his muscles roll at the finish Popeye style!
Van Aert never came close to the front. After a failed bicycle change, he seemed to have lost his rhythm for a long time. Only after half a cross did he get a view of silver. He left Vanthourenhout behind and then only had to deal with Pidcock. The British star was a tough customer, but after a nice duel, the Belgian won the prize. Van Aert is doing a good job in the World Cup classification. He remains leader but feels Van der Poel approaching. Our David Conroy finished in 47th place. One more leg to go in Overijse (Bel) on Sunday 24th January which will decide the overall winner.

1. Mathieu van der Poel 27km in 1u05’27” (average 24km a hour!!)
2. Wout van Aert @1’31”
3. Thomas Pidcock @1’49”
4. Michael Vanthourenhout @2’41”
5. Toon Aerts @3’07”
6. Lars van der Haar @3’19”
7. Quinten Hermans @3’32”
8. Laurens Sweeck @3’37”
9. Ryan Kamp @4’12”
10. Corné van Kessel @4’46”

Standing World Cup Men elite (one more round to go)1. Wout van Aert (Bel) 125 pts, 2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) 110 pts, 3.Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) 106 pts, 4. Toon Aerts (Bel) 87 pts, 5. Quinten Hermans (Bel) 78 pts, 6. Corné van Kessel (Ned) 73 pts, 7. Lars van der Haar (Ned) 61 pts, 8. Tom Pidcock (GBr) 59 pts, 9. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) 58 pts, 10.Thijs Aerts (Bel) 42 pts