Van der Poel Beats van Aert at Benidorm World Cup: ‘To win is always super nice’

By Monica Buck

It was the Dutchman against the Belgian once again and this time, the Dutchman came on top. The penultimate World Cup round in Benidorm saw once again a fabulous contest between the two biggest stars of cyclocross.

The pair went clear from a leading group of five on the final lap, leaving behind the World Cup leader Laurens Sweeck, Tom Pidcock and Eli Iserbyt. Van der Poel then seized the lead, proved to be a bit better at bunny-hopping the planks, and defended successfully against van Aert who came just a bit too close to the barriers right before crossing the finish line.

“To win is always super nice. It was a really nice race, quite dangerous, slippery and difficult to ride as fast as we were, and it was a great race with Wout. It was important to be at the front at the bunny hops as it was a short sprint,” said the Dutchman. “My back was a lot better than previous races and that enabled me to go really deep and that was what I needed to win today.”

Eli Iserbyt finished third and Laurens Sweeck took fourth place, which sealed the overall World Cup title for him.

2023 CX – Benidorm results

  1. Mathieu van der Poel (NED) 01:00:00
  2. Wout van Aert (BEL) + 0 seconds
  3. Eli Iserbyt (BEL) + 9 seconds
  4. Laurens Sweeck (BEL) + 20 seconds
  5. Tom Pidcock (GBR) + 34 seconds
  6. Kevin Kuhn (SUI) + 56 seconds
  7. Lars van der Haar (NED) + 01:11
  8. Niels Vandeputte (BEL) + 01:14
  9. Felipe Orts Lloret (ESP) + 01:17
  10. Gerben Kuypers (BEL) + 01:22