During the Junior Men’s race at the cyclo-cross World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium, Mathieu van der Poel not only demolished his contemporaries but also made the elite riders blush.
The official results from the UCI show that his opening lap on the demanding sand course through the dunes in Koksijde was faster than any other rider in all the race categories.
Van der Poel clocked 7:08 in his opening lap while the fastest lap of an Elite Men was 7:10; cyclo-cross star Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) needed four more seconds to complete his fastest lap. Though the circumstances were obviously different –the rain was not as heavy – it does highlight the abilities of the 17 year-old Dutchman.
The current cyclo-cross Junior Men World champion is the son of former pro rider and cyclo-cross champion Adrie van der Poel, is still unbeaten this season, racking up thirteen wins.
At the finish line of yet another victory, Cyclingnews talked with Van der Poel and asked him if he was challenged enough in the Junior Men category.
“The challenge is to be up there every race,” Van der Poel said. “I do know that with my lap times I can be with the best in the Men Under 23 category. That’s all hypothetical of course. Everything at the right time.”