To become cyclo-cross world champion at the age of 20, you need to have some serious bike-handling skills.
And with his grandfather being three-time Tour de France runner-up Raymond Poulidor and his father Adri also having won a rainbow jersey in cyclo-cross – as well as the Tour of Flanders and Liège–Bastogne–Liège – Mathieu van der Poel has some cycling pedigree.
Now aged 22 and almost untouchable in the new season, with eight victories in nine races, the Dutchman used some top skills today to avoid wiping out on a sandy descent at Superprestige Zonhoven.
Somehow he managed to keep the bike upright and continue his dominant start to the season as he won by 22 second from current world champion, Wout Aerts.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.