Wout van Aert confident before cyclo-cross Worlds showdown with Van der Poel

Wout Van Aert battles through the Ostend sand in training
Wout Van Aert battles through the Ostend sand during a course recon (Image credit: Getty Images)

Wout van Aert studied the windswept and sandy UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships course in Ostend, Belgium on Friday morning, predicting a hard and selective race and a head-to-head battle with eternal rival Mathieu van der Poel.     

Van Aert won the Belgian national title on the same course in 2017 and is known for his ability in the sand. During the training session, he rode several laps of the course and sprinted up the key bridge selection to test his legs and tyres.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.