Wout Van Aert continued his run of first and second places in the UCI Cyclocross World Cup with a runner-up finish to rival Mathieu van der Poel at the penultimate round of the 2022-23 season in Benidorm, Spain.
– After the mud, sand and snow of the northern European races, the UCI Cyclocross World Cup’s move south to the Costa Blanca brought with it sunshine, dust and a very fast course for the racers.
– After a fast start from van der Poel, it was Ineos Grenadiers rider Tom Pidcock who made the first break, but the British reigning world champion couldn’t maintain his pace and dropped back down the field as van Aert came to the fore to challenge van der Poel.
– The pair were locked together in a group with Laurens Sweeck and Eli Iserbyt with two laps remaining, but a final lap attack by van Aert meant only van der Poel could go with him and the race for victory came down to a sprint finish that van der Poel won, relegating van Aert to second place.
– Pidcock paid the price for his early efforts and dropped back through the field to seven place at the finish.
– The final round of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup takes place in Besançon, France on January 29.
Video – Watch the Men’s UCI Cyclocross World Cup