Mathieu van der Poel does not think that he will be as successful again next year as in 2019. The cyclocross world champion booked his 28th victory in 29 cyclocross rides this year at the Ethias Cross in Bredene.
"It was a unique year", Van der Poel looked back at this year at Sporza after his victory. "I fear that I will not experience this again, although of course I want to. It was really a pleasure."
The 24-year-old Van der Poel won his sixteenth cyclo-cross this season in Bredene. In the fifth of eight laps, he rode away from his fellow refugee Tim Merlier and eventually held the Belgian for more than a minute. Nevertheless, the European champion did not have it easy.
"It was a nice cross, but it was a difficult course," he said. "It was not easy to find the right lines because of the heavy strips with many deep tracks."
In the penultimate lap Van der Poel even fell for a moment, but that too could not stop him from winning. "That crash was my own fault. You didn't see too well through the low sun, but it was up to me."
Mathieu van der Poel was also in a class of his own in Bredene. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Van der Poel won thirty cyclocross trips this year
In all, the all-rounder achieved no fewer than 30 victories in cyclocross. He became world champion for the second time, extended his European title and took the overall victory in both the Superprestige and the DVV Insurance Trophy.
Van der Poel was also very successful on the road this year. For example, he won the Amstel Gold Race, Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Brabantse Pijl. He rode the mountain bike to the European title and three world cup victories.
Next year, the mountain bike race at the Tokyo Olympic Games will be his main goal, but will also be at the start in Paris-Roubaix for the first time. "What I hope for 2020? I would like to achieve just as much success, but the most important thing is to stay healthy," he concluded.