Van der Poel takes world cyclo-cross title | Ralph Lauren

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Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel overcame a tumble to claim his fourth cyclo-cross world title by beating his great Belgian rival Wout van Aert once again.

Van der Poel crashed early on in Sunday’s race in Ostend but he caught van Aert and powered away when the Belgian, who won three consecutive titles from 2016-18, suffered a puncture.

Van der Poel, the grandson of former France great Raymond Poulidor, had taken one of the sport’s great rivalries with van Aert to road racing as he beat him in last year’s Tour of Flanders.

This time, the Dutchman never looked back as he took his third title in a row, adding to his first triumph in 2015.

Van der Poel completed the eight-lap course, featuring sandy sections on the shores of the North Sea, in 58 minutes 57 seconds with van Aert second, eventually 37 seconds adrift.

Belgian Toon Aerts completed the podium as bronze medallist while Briton Tom Pidcock took fourth place.

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