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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross Worlds-winning Canyon Inflite - Gallery

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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Complete with Dura-Ace groupset (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

And as is the default choice in today's CX scene, disc brakes provided stopping power (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Tyre choice comes from French outfit FMB, and despite TLR usually denoting tubeless-ready, these are very much tubulars (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Tread pattern is low profile, with larger shoulder knobs for cornering grip (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Don't try this at home: high powered pressure washing is the method of choice for CX (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

With long stretches of sand and detours via the sea, the bike's bearings would have been through a hard time (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Shimano's XTR mountain-bike pedals keep Van der Poel's feet planted (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Despite having GRX as a gravel groupset, Van der Poel opts for Dura-Ace (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

The Dura-Ace cassette was the 11-30 variant (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Cable-protection comes in the form of zip ties (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

With a 2X chainset comes the need for a front mech, and Dura-Ace takes care of this too (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Despite many road riders using XTR rotors, Van der Poel used the 10g heavier Dura-Ace discs (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Unsurprisingly, Shimano Dura-Ace takes care of the calipers too (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Pre-race, clean and ready to go (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

It is rumoured that when it arrives, the new Dura-Ace will be wireless (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Some riders opt for oversized pulley wheels even in cyclo-cross. Not Mathieu, though (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Just like Van der Poel, the FMB tyres have left their mark in the sand (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

This missing cable port cover is a small scar from an almighty battle (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Canyon's H11 cockpit is slammed to the max for Mathieu (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Wrapped in Selle Italia tape for wet-weather grip (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Selle Italia also supplies the saddle, with its Flite Boost (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Quite the unconventional frame shape, the Inflite is said to be easier to shoulder when running (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Tyre clearance is plentiful (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

The cockpit measures 410mm wide, and a comparatively-short-for-him 110mm long (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Cable routing is heat-shrunk together and fed through the same port (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Quick-release adaptors help speed up wheel changes for thru-axle wheels (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

Van der Poel would have likely paired his various bikes' power meters with a smart watch (Image credit: Joris Knapen)
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Mathieu van der Poel's cyclo-cross bike

After cleaning, a few spots of water are all the evidence that remains from the bike's hour of torture (Image credit: Joris Knapen)

Mathieu van der Poel stormed to a third straight cyclo-cross world championship on Sunday, winning his fourth career title at the age of just 26. On the sandy beach of Oostende, he outrode his lifelong rival Wout van Aert, who finished in second place at 37 seconds. 

With the temperatures and rainfall perfectly in line with a traditional Belgian January, and the day's terrain featuring mud, grass, long stretches of sand, artificial fly-overs and even a riders-choice detour via the North Sea, equipment choice on the day was going to be crucial.

After an early Van der Poel crash - during which he reportedly broke his saddle - it was a Van Aert puncture that swung the race in the reigning champion's favour, and once alone, he settled into the race-dominating time-trial rhythm that we've seen so many times already this season.

Much discussion has surrounded Van Aert's bike choice since the turn of the year when his Bianchi Zolder CX was given a lick of sponsor-friendly paint in the absence of a Cervelo CX bike to ride. However, despite his countless minutes of TV time, Van der Poel's bike has gone largely unnoticed.

The bike in question is the Canyon Inflite CF SLX, complete with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and Dura-Ace tubular wheels. His choice of tyres comes from FMB and feature a reasonably low tread profile with a slightly more aggressive shoulder tread for cornering grip, they measure the UCI-permitted maximum 33c.

As has become more widely adopted this season, Van der Poel opted for a 2X chainset, with Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 groupset powering the shifting and braking. Despite not running a head unit, Van der Poel's bikes were fitted with power meters, which were most likely paired to a smart watch.

Perhaps most controversially, however, was Van der Poel's order of attire. Going against his usual tact, the new world champion opted for socks UNDER his leg warmers.

UCI Cyclocross World Championships 2021 - Elite Men - Oostende - 31/01/2021 - Wout Van Aert (Belgium / Team Jumbo-Visma) - Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin - Fenix) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX - specifications

  • Frame: Canyon Inflite CF SLX
  • Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9120 disc brake caliper
  • Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9120 disc brake caliper
  • Brake/shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 Di2 disc
  • Front derailleur:  Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 series
  • Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 series
  • Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P with power meter
  • Wheelset: Shimano Dura-Ace C60 tubular
  • Tyres: FMB (model unspecified)
  • Handlebars: Canyon H11 cockpit (410mm)
  • Bar Tape: Selle Italia
  • Stem: Canyon H11 cockpit (110mm)
  • Pedals: Shimamo XTR
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Flite
  • Seatpost: Canyon S13
  • Bottle cages: N/A
  • Cycling computer: N/a