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Benelux storm in Cyclo-X world championship

By Adam Marsal

More than twenty thousand spectators watched twenty-year-old Mathieu van der Poel steal a gold medal in the Cyclo-cross championship 2015.

No one had a chance to catch this Dutch rider before he even reached the finish line. With a big advance, he’d left the rest of the competitors behind.


True son of his father

Mathieu has won the world champion title in the junior category twice in the past. Despite the fact he’s a newcomer in the elite category, it didn’t stop him win the title on the track in Tabor – a small city in Czech Republic. It’s good to know that Mathieu’s got racing in his genes because his father Adri became the world cyclocross champion, 19 years ago. Can it be the cycling gene?

At the starting line of the elite category, sixty competitors from 21 countries included not only traditional cyclocross superpowers like Belgium and the Netherlands but also New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada.

Crazy costumes and dirty shoes

Exactly at 2PM riders of the most anticipated category started the race. Mathieu took the lead in the first seconds, chased by other riders from the Netherlands and Belgium. Cyclocross is one of the most popular sports in these countries, so it was no big surprise that a huge part of the crowd was made by the supporters from Belgium.

Many of these fans wore wonderful costumes with national black, yellow and red colours. Lots of them enjoyed not only their favourite sport, but also the Czech draft beer! It seemed that almost nobody cared about their dirty shoes or the brisk subzero temperatures. The real fans of the sport are used to the uncomfortable conditions as the main cyclocross season runs from October till February.


The muddy track was far from easy and many riders crashed during the race. The event was sponsored by Škoda who also support other major cycling events, such as the Tour de France. This time Škoda also offered spectators a test ride – on a special off-road circuit.


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