Mathieu van der Poel claims cycling road race title

Mathieu van der Poel celebrates his world title. Photo: Robin van Lonkhuijsen ANP

Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel won the dramatic men’s UCI World Road Race title in Glasgow this weekend, in what he said may be his “biggest victory” on the road.

The event was marred by an environmental protest, he was involved in a high-speed crash and had a problem with his shoe but “it means everything,” Van der Poel said.

“It was one of the biggest goals I had left and to win it today was amazing. It almost completes my career, in my opinion. It is maybe my biggest victory on the road.”

The gruelling race, which started with 193 riders in the peloton, ended with only 51 finishers. Wout van Aert from Belgium took the silver medal ahead of Tadej Pogacar who claimed bronze.

Van der Poel also said his win felt a bit like revenge for the 2022 world championships in Australia.

Then, the rider was arrested and charged with assault after an incident in a hotel, in which two teenage girls repeatedly banged on his door as he tried to sleep.

He dropped out of the race and was later fined but the sentence was overturned three months later.

The title is the first world road race title for a Dutch man since Joop Zoetemelk won in 1985. Dutch women riders have won the title several times in the past few years and Annemiek van Vleuten is the current title holder.

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