Van Aert started from the second row of the grid after only riding in Antwerp this season and wasn’t off to a good start. He suffered several mechanicals including a rival mechanic’s towel in his gears at one point. However, he managed to get back every time. With just over a lap to go, he went clear.
Laurens Sweeck (Crelan-Fristads) crossed the finish line second at 14 seconds back. Tom Pidcock, the world champion, finished third at 17 seconds.
“This is pure cyclocross,” Van Aert said. “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.”
“It was a really hard race for me, especially mentally. I had to fight my way into the race because I was missing a little bit at the start and was too far off in my positioning. When I felt better, I had a mechanical and so it was a long race. In the end, it was so tough that I could still make a difference.”
Van Aert was given the towel that blocked his gears by Sporza television interviewer Renaat Schotte and proudly put it around his shoulders. He even waved it on the podium as he celebrated his win.
Will he continue to dominate the field? What do you think?
2022 CX – Dublin results
1. Wout van Aert (BEL) – 59:36
2. Laurens Sweeck (BEL) + 14
3. Tom Pidcock (GBR) + 17
4. Lars van der Haar (NED) + 19
5. Michael Vanthourenhout (BEL) + 22
6. Jens Adams (BEL) + 33
7. Eli Iserbyt (BEL) + 35
8. Pim Ronhaar (NED) + 37
9. Corne Van Kessel (NED) + 46
10. Cameron Mason (GBR) + 58