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Wout van Aert repeats as Belgian cyclo-cross national champion

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Wout van Aert wins the Belgian cyclo-cross national title

Wout van Aert wins second consecutive Belgian cyclo-cross national title (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) runs up the sand dune

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) runs off beach at Middlekerke course (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) rode and ran to victory

Wout van Aert en route to national title (Image credit: Getty Images)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 Gianni Vermeersch of Belgium competes during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Gianni Vermeersch would ride to fifth place in the championships (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 A general view of fans at race circuit during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

General view of course in the Belgian province of West Flanders as it passes on beach next to the North Sea (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 LR Silver medalist Laurens Sweeck of Belgium gold medalist Wout Van Aert of of Belgium and bronze medalist Quinten Hermans of Belgium pose on the podium during the medal ceremony after the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Elite Men's podium (LtoR): Silver medalist Laurens Sweeck, champion Wout Van Aert and bronze medalist Quinten Hermans (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 Gold medalist Wout Van Aert of of Belgium poses on the podium during the medal ceremony after the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert celebrates the gold medal in Belgian championships (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 Laurens Sweeck of Belgium crosses the finishing line on second place during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Laurens Sweeck crosses the finish 1:16 behind winner Wout van Aert (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 Quinten Hermans of Belgium crosses the finishing line on third place during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Quinten Hermans acknowledges bronze medal finish at the line (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 Wout Van Aert of Belgium competes during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert of Jumbo-Visma (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 LR Laurens Sweeck of Belgium and Jens Adams of Belgium compete during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Laurens Sweeck (on left) and Jens Adams battle for third place in second half of men's race (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 Quinten Hermans of Belgium competes during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Quinten Hermans runs a sandy climb (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 Jens Adams of Belgium competes during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Jens Adams would finish fourth (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 Laurens Sweeck of Belgium competes during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Laurens Sweeck in chase mode (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 Toon Aerts of Belgium competes during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Toon Aerts, who won the silver medal in 2021, finished seventh on Sunday (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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MIDDELKERKE BELGIUM JANUARY 09 Wout Van Aert of Belgium competes during the 105th Belgian National Cyclocross Championships 2022 Mens Elite bkmiddelkerke on January 09 2022 in Middelkerke Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Wout van Aert on the beach (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) dominated the elite men’s Belgian Cyclo-cross National Championships, living up to his tag as 'favourite' with a dominant start to finish ride on the fast, sandy course in Middelkerke on the Belgian coast.

Van Aert won the sprint from the start line to the short first climb and never looked back. He was soon clear alone and then gained around 20 seconds per lap for much of the race.

After an hour and nine laps of racing he was able to ease up and savour his fifth national title. 

Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) emerged from the chasing group to win the silver medal at 1:16 back, with Quinten Hermans (Tormans) taking the bronze medal at 1:27. 

Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions) had appeared to be a podium contender but a mid-race spill cost him time and he finished seventh at 2:11. Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) suffered a bad start, soon lost contact and opted to quit the race.

Van Aert celebrated by holding up five fingers to indicate his five national titles. He is also the current Belgian national road race champion.    

"This means a lot. Five is a very nice number. I attach great importance to this jersey and few people have won five titles. Now I can ride in it again for a whole year, on the road and in cyclo-cross," Van Aert said, explaining that his high five and then wave was a gesture from when he went to school. 

He kept his race tactics as simple and fun as his winning gesture. 

"I tried to take advantage of being the big favourite. I knew that if I gave everything I could, there might be a quick race for second place," he said, shrugging off any disappointment of not winning all 10 of the cyclo-cross races in his winter campaign. His run was disrupted by a mechanical problem in the recent Hulst World Cup race.

"I am certainly not going to complain, but it makes it even more unfortunate that I had bad luck in Hulst. Well, I won the most important race of my winter," he said about Sunday's race. 

Van Aert will now travel to the Jumbo-Visma training camp rather than the cyclo-cross World Championships in Fayetteville, in the USA. His cyclo-cross season is done for the year while his road racing season is still under construction. 

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:58:11
2Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:01:16
3Quinten Hermans (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team 0:01:27
4Jens Adams (Bel) 0:01:34
5Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix 0:01:40
6Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:01:54
7Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:02:11
8Daan Soete (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-Containers Maes 0:03:04
9Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal
10Tom Meeusen (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-Containers Maes 0:03:16
11Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix 0:03:31
12Thijs Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:04:36
13Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin - Fenix
14Diether Sweeck (Bel) Iko - Crelan 0:04:55
15Arne Vrachten (Bel) 0:05:12
16Seppe Rombouts (Bel) 0:05:33
17Lander Loockx (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes 0:05:43
18Julian Siemons (Bel) 0:05:56
19Yentl Bekaert (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 0:06:20
20Mathijs Wuyts (Bel)
21Jens Gys (Bel)
22Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel)
23Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel)
24Kenny Roelandt (Bel)
25Nick Peers (Bel)
26Thomas Verheyen (Bel)
27Grégory Careme (Bel)
28Senne de Meyer (Bel)
29Jonas Degroote (Bel)
30Siebe Tormans (Bel)
31Yelle Leaerts (Bel)
32Julien Kaise (Bel)
33Maarten Van Staeyen (Bel)
34Tim de Schuyter (Bel)
35Maxime Van Wynsberghe (Bel)
36Andy Ruts (Bel)
37Niels Koyen (Bel)
38Pieter Meelberghs (Bel)
39Lenn Verdijck (Bel)
40Jochem Danckaers (Bel)
DNFRobin Alderweireld (Bel)
DNFEli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes
DNFGlenn Verbeeck (Bel)
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