Escape Aertist - Back to Back Cyclocross Titles for Wout van Aert
Wout van Aert (BEL – Crelan-Charles Team) came to Luxembourg ready to tame both a tricky course and a tricky situation Sunday at the UCI Elite Men’s Cyclocross World Championship in Luxembourg.
The Belgian superstar took his second straight world title, crossing the finish line 44 seconds ahead of Mathieu van der Poel (NED) and 2:09 ahead of his compatriot Kevin Pauwels. Despite knee injuries that took him away from his bike for a few days before the Championships, the 22-years-old van Aert showed he was well prepared and mentally strong. Nothing – neither nagging injury nor challenging course – could distract him from his goal.
The first half of the 3.2km course was extremely fast, the second more technical and challenging with steep descents, short climbs, and extreme off-camber sections. Saturday morning’s icy conditions for the junior race turned the muddy and slippery for Sunday afternoon’s Elite Men race.
While Luxembourg does not have the ‘cross-crazy reputation as its Northern neighbors (Belgium and the Netherlands), the small nation is passionate about cycling and now has hosted the Cycocross World Championships five times (1951, 1956, 1962, 1968 and 2017). Tens of thousands of spectators from all over the world cheering for their favorite riders, a tricky and punchy course, challenging weather conditions.
A week after becoming the overall Women U23 World Cup Champion, Ellen Noble (USA – Aspire Cycling) confirmed she is one of the top young female cyclocross racers. In Bieles Noble took risks at the right moments to claim her first World’s silver medal. Ellen races on Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular Disc-brake wheels, Zipp Service Course SL stem, bar and seatpost.
All photos © Balint Hamvas Cyclephotos