Mathieu van der Poel took his 17th win of the season in the Telenet UCI World Cup Soudal Classic in Namur. The Dutchman clearly enjoyed the muddy circumstances on the Citadel de Namur. "This ws one of the most enjoyable crosses of the year."
Van Der Poel was visibly delighted at the finish. "I was really happy to win. It's a tough cross in these circumstances. Last year I didn't feel 100 percent here, this time I did. I was really up for this one. It's a real cross in which we were almost unrecognisable. That was a fun experience."
"It was the ideal temperature to race in, around ten degrees. Cold weather and mud, those crosses are my favourites. I wouldn't mind having a few more of these. This was one of the toughest races of the season."
Van der Poel won't make the trip to Pontchateau as he's not going for the overall win. "By not riding in America I've sort of given up on the standings."
However, his form just keeps improving. "It's hard to say of I'm getting better. Today I was top. You just have to try and hang on to that feeling as long as you can.
Some pundits fear Van Der Poel's dominance is hurting the sport, but the Dutchman doesn't agree with that idea. "I didn't notice any of that today. It was very busy again at the race. The true cyclo-cross fans will keep coming. Of course I can't wait for the others to win in a duel. Maybe that would have happened if Wout had made a better start."