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 joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.