Wout van Aert (BEL – Charles-Crelan 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.
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 compatriot Kevin Pauwels. Despite knee injuries that kept him off his bike for a week days before the Championships, the 22-year-old van Aert was both mentally and physically prepared. 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 Men's race turned the course muddy and slippery for Sunday afternoon’s Elite Men's race.
Since the start of the season van Aert has been racing SRAM RED eTap HRD, Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular wheels, Zipp SL Speed stem and seatpost and Zipp Service Course SL bar.
While Luxembourg does not maintain the same cyclocross-crazy reputation of its northern neighbors (Belgium and the Netherlands), the small nation is passionate about cycling and has hosted the Cyclocross World Championships five times (1951, 1956, 1962, 1968 and 2017). Tens of thousands of spectators from all over the world cheering on their favorites, a tricky and punchy course, challenging weather conditions and the best riders on top form, made for a perfect event.
A week after becoming the overall Women's U23 World Cup Champion, Ellen Noble (USA – Aspire Cycling) was confirmed as one of the top young female racers. In Bieles Noble took risks at the right moments to claim her first World’s silver medal. Ellen races on SRAM Force 1 HRD, Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular wheels, Zipp Service Course SL stem, bar and seat-post.
Sieben Wouters (NED - Vastgoedservice team), another young talent riding for a powerful cyclocross nation, took the bronze medal in the Men's U23 category. Sieben races on SRAM Force 1 HRD. SRAM 1x is the perfect choice for cyclocross. It’s simpler, quieter, and more secure. The dedicated 1x rear derailleur and chainrings feature technologies designed for optimum chain retention in all conditions.