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A photo of Mathieu van der Poel’s broken shoe makes his victory even more spectacular

A photo of Mathieu van der Poel’s broken shoe makes his victory even more spectacular

Nothing could deter Mathieu van der Poel from achieving an incredible victory at the 2023 UCI Road World Championships in Glasgow, not even a broken shoe and cleat.

After an initial delay due to a protest, the race escalated to an unrelenting pace as the field entered the finishing circuits in Glasgow. Following an impressive surge, Mathieu van der Poel clinched the win and claimed the coveted rainbow jersey. His triumph emerged from a formidable quartet that included his fierce cyclocross rival, Wout Van Aert, the two-time Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar, and the 2019 title holder, Mads Pedersen.

A nearly perfect ride

The 28-year-old displayed flawless performance on every challenging section of the course and around every bend. However, with 16.5 km remaining in the race, van der Poel suffered a crash while navigating a corner, colliding into a barricade. He quickly got back on his feet, fortunately avoiding any damage to his bike. Nevertheless, the Boa fastener on the upper part of his shoe was severely compromised. It was hanging loose from his footwear as he remounted.

Stop and go go go: Mathieu van der Poel wins wild, enthralling world championship

Ultimately, he tore it off and discarded it. This meant that he would have reduced ability to pull up efficiently, given that the top portion of his shoe was now loose. Many professionals prefer to secure their shoes tightly, especially during the decisive moments of the race. Given the substantial power output that MvdP generates on the short climbs, commentators wondered whether this would pose a problem. Fortunately, he maintained a significant lead, and the trio behind him began to engage in tactical maneuvers, acknowledging that the race for the top position was effectively settled.

Mathieu van der Poel just broke the Internet on the road worlds course recon

A photograph of the shoe reveals both the absent Boa fastener and a damaged cleat. Although support vehicles typically carry spare kit and extra shoes, there was no time for this, nor was there a suitable straight stretch where he could make the necessary change safely.

Take a look at his worn-out shoes below.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…