Wout van Aert wins World Cup for third time
Tuesday 26 January 2021
The final race in Overijse would be decisive to win the 2020-2021 UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross. Wout van Aert could feel Van der Poel breathing in his neck so he gave it his all one more time to secure his overall victory.
Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took the first points of his overall win in the general classification in Tabor. Even though Van Aert did not start on the front row he ended up in third place on the opening weekend of his cyclo-cross season, after Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal). It was fellow Belgian Michael Vantourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) who won the race and could take the leader’s jersey home for the first time in his career.
In Namur world champion Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) entered the stage for the first time in this world cup. After an extremely exciting race it was the Dutchman who could celebrate, ahead of Van Aert. Thanks to his victory the world champion immediately jumped to third place in the general classification. Despite a fall and ending in fourth place Vantourenhout remained leader in the general classification by seven points on Van Aert. Eli Iserbyt, second in the general classification after Tabor, saw his lead and position in the classification vanish after mechanical problems.
When the rain turned Dendermonde into an even more challenging course, Van Aert saw an opportunity to take the lead in the classification. On a muddy track, perfectly suited for Van Aert, he created a gap between himself and world champion Van der Poel of almost three minutes. Not only did he take his first win of the season in the world cup, he could also take the leader’s jersey home. Vantourenhout dropped in the classification to third place after Van der Poel.
Right after diving into 2021, it was time for the world champion to shine again. Van der Poel cheered in Hulst, ahead of Wout van Aert and started approaching him with just fifteen more points to go in the classification. Overijse, the last race, would be the decisive one for the overall victory. Everyone was expecting a duel between number one and two in the “Mother of all cyclo-cross races” and that is exactly what happened. After a flat tire for Van der Poel and an exciting chase, it was Van Aert who could take the win and overall victory. The Belgian champion could celebrate victory in the World Cup for the third time in his career.
- Wout van Aert – 165 pts.
- Mathieu van der Poel – 140 pts.
- Michael Vanthourenhout – 128 pts.