What a race! The elite men’s UCI CX World Cup in Benidorm on Sunday was one of, if not the best, race of the year. Mathieu van der Poel was positively god-like, making his way from the back to the front like an absolutely champ. He passed dozens of riders on the tough climb in an exhibit of wattage that was one for the ages. Wout van Aert was also impressive up that climb, although we will never know what might have been. Tom Pidcock was riding well as well, even leading the race at one point.
However, each one of them had some pretty wild wipe-outs.
Van der Pole
Mathieu van der Poel has shown us he’s simply incredible when it comes to skills on the bike. So many times he’s carved corners coming within millimetres of walls/fences/barriers as he takes the outside line. It’s said that sometimes he comes so close to some of the foam poles on the course that the world champ even bounces off of them. This time, however, as he said after the race, “I thought it was a bit softer.”
This is how the crash of Mathieu van der Poel looked like. 😢 pic.twitter.com/BUU4o1Y6JL
— Lukáš Ronald Lukács (@lucasaganronald) January 21, 2024
Wout van Aert loses his seat
Van Aert took the lead on the last lap, powering away from Michael Vanthourenhout on the climb. He looked poised to take an impressive win, until drama hit on the double barriers that were to the finish. The Belgian decided to be cautious, and decided not to bunny hop, and dismounted.
That did not go according to plan, as you can see below.
Wout winning one of the greatest CX races in years without a saddle – absolute LEGEND
Watch how he accidentally kicks the saddle off of his bike during this post-crash flying remount 😎
Incredible victory from one of the best-ever!
— Atlanta Rouleur Collection (@AtlantaRouleur) January 21, 2024
Tom Pidcock and a unfriendly barrier
It’s not clear what happened when the world MTB champion came up to a plank. It doesn’t even look like he was setting up to hop it, but either way, he went for a flyer.
Thankfully all three riders were OK, and it’s a reminder that even the best make mistakes sometimes.
Apparently these 3 are the “big 3 of cyclocross” pic.twitter.com/XrhJgXOumn
— Cyclocross Social (@Cyclocrosss) January 21, 2024