Belgian top performance at the Cyclo-Cross World Championships


Belgium took two gold medals at the Cyclo-Cross World Championships held in Bieles in Luxembourg. Wout Van Aert came top in the men's professionals, after an equipment failure battle, while Sanne Cant took her very first world title in the women's professionals.

Yet again the Belgian cyclo-cross riders demonstrated at the world championships in Bieles in Luxembourg that our country has little competition when it comes to cyclo-cross. Wout Van Aert and Sanne Cant took possession of the rainbow jerseys in both top categories, professional men and women. Remarkably Van Aert and Cant both grew up in the same Belgian village of Lille. This little place, with less than 16,000 inhabitants and whose name is not to be confused with the bigger French city, already has a number of world titles in cyclo-cross to its name, as the home town of both Erwin Vervecken and Paul Herygers.

22-year-old Wout Van Aert successfully defended his rainbow jersey in Bieles, Luxembourg. After a poor start he was gradually able to move up to first position. While his competitors faced equipment issues, Van Aert suffered just a single puncture and steamed ahead to claim a convincing world title. He reached the finish line ahead of his great rival Mathieu van der Poel. Another Belgian, Kevin Pauwels, managed to win the bronze medal.

In the women's professionals, spectators were treated to a terrifically tense battle between the Dutch Marianne Vos and Belgian Sanne Cant. The two ladies were neck and neck throughout the race, but Cant appeared to have lost her opportunity after a number of falls until Vos was then faced with a broken chain. In the few last metres Cant showed some technical superiority compared to her Dutch counterpart and sprinted towards her very first world title.