Last lap video at bottom of report…

What an athlete on fields and roads (Photo courtesy of David Stockman @belga)

On the North Sea beach of Oostende, Wout van Aert opened with a strong show of power. He immediately applied 10 meters to Van der Poel along the waterline. When Van der Poel claws himself back into Van Aert’s wheel, the two big guns had left off!! One round further, Van Aert fired a new rocket into the sand. In his attempt to close the gap, Van der Poel fell down in the mud. 11 seconds suddenly seemed like a big bonus for Van Aert. But the Dutch came closer to grain by grain of sand. When Van Aert suddenly had a front wheel puncture, Van der Poel went up and over his rival. Suddenly it was Van Aert who was indebted for 11 seconds. Bad luck yes, but part of the sport I am afraid, but Van Aert did not want to give up the fight. He nibbled on his backlog and saw Van der Poel shoot out of his click pedal on the steep bridge. Van Aert approached within 3 seconds. But it was on that darn bridge that the Belgian captain was given extra seconds every time. At a gap of 20 seconds, Van Aert’s spring seemed broken. Van der Poel remained quick and frisky and did not show a speck of decay. His 4th rainbow jersey was no longer in danger. In the battle for 3rd place, Toon Aerts had a battle with Pidcock. It hung for a long time on 20 counts from Aerts, but in the final phase, the British star suddenly came panting in the neck of my compatriot. Aerts pressed another sprint from his thighs to secure the bronze. Pidcock finished 4th, sand specialist Sweeck completed the top 5.

The Belgian train done their best but had to bow (Photo @belga)

GOLD: Mathieu van der Poel in 58’57” (23.3km – 8 laps)
SILVER: Wout van Aert (Bel) @ 37″
BRONZE: Toon Aerts (Bel) @1’24”
4 Thomas Pidcock (GB) @1’37”
5 Laurens Sweeck (Bel) @2’05”
6 Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) @2’14”
7 Eli Iserbyt (Bel) @2’18”
8 Quinten Hermans (Bel) @2’23”
9 Lars van der Haar (Ned) @2’41”
10 Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) @3’15”
11 Corné van Kessel (Ned) @4’09”
12 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) @4’21”
13 Kevin Kuhn (Sui) @4’29”
14 Daan Soete (Bel) @4’57”
15 Yan Gras (Fra) @5’11”
16 Joshua Dubau (Fra) @5’28”
17 Tim Merlier (Bel) @5’34”
18 Zdenek Štybar (Tjech) @5’42” 19 Timon Rüegg (Sui) @5’50”
20 Curtis White (USA) @6’33”

Tom Pidcock (4th) told Sporza: “I was quite strong. Some laps it went well in the sand, sometimes it was” shit “. I could have made it to the podium and that is a slight disappointment. But in 5 years no one knows who 3rd or 4th. ” “It was a good and successful year. That gives me confidence for the road season and next winter. These guys are 5 years older. I have a few more years to grow.”