The two Telenet Fidea Lions win their first World Championships medals with a silver in the U23 women’s and bronze in the men’s elite races in Denmark.
It was the first World Championships medal for Toon Aerts coming on top of his best-ever season after winning two World Cups, the overall World Cup title, and the Belgian championships. Although he could taste the silver medal after battling back and passing a tired Wout van Aert in the final lap, a slip in the last muddy corner ahead of the tarmac finish would settle the fight and leave him with bronze. Mathieu van der Poel won the world title after building a substantial lead before the halfway point of the race that he never relinquished.
Aerts was more than satisfied with his race, proving again, without question, to be one of the top three cyclocross riders in the world this season.
I finished third but showed I’m able to compete with Mathieu and Wout. It was a good battle for silver! This is my first ever World Championships medal, and it’s the icing on the cake for this season. Becoming Belgian Champion, winning the World Cup and now this bronze medal... and we still have the last races of the DVV Trofee and Superprestige to go. I’m currently 2nd GC in both, so we still have some good weeks to come.
In the U23 race, Fleur Nagengast lived up to the potential she has shown all season, coming from behind after a slow start to catch the leaders and putting herself back into medal contention. In the final lap, she briefly led before she was overtaken by compatriots Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Inge van der Heijden. The three came into the finish together, with Fleur still having enough in her reserves to sprint around pre-race favorite Alvarado for the silver, while van der Heijden powered to the win, giving the Netherlands a clean sweep of the podium.
I completely missed my start and had a fall on top of that. After two laps I passed the finish line 30 seconds behind the leading group. But I never gave up and kept pushing myself and overtaking competitors. As soon as I could see the leaders, it gave me an enormous mental boost! That made me feel very strong, and I decided to take the lead in the group and tear it apart. When it all came down to a sprint with the three of us, I had to let Inge go - but after finishing 5th last season, I’m very happy with my first Worlds medal!
Last year’s winner, Trek cyclocross and mountain bike cross-country athlete Evie Richards (Great-Britain) is recovering from a knee injury and was unable to defend her world title in Bogense.