Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel became world cyclo-cross champion for the fifth time by sprinting ahead of his great rival, Belgian Wout Van Aert, on Sunday in Hoogerheide in the Netherlands.
Another Belgian, Eli Iserbyt, won the bronze medal, 12 seconds behind the winner.
Van der Poel succeeds Briton Tom Pidcock, who was absent on Sunday.
On the Hoogerheide track, almost transformed into a stadium where more than 50,000 people had gathered along the 3.2 kilometer circuit, Van der Poel set fire to the first lap, leaving the race lead to his compatriot Lars van der Haar only a few minutes.
The two favorites were already far ahead of the others at the end of the first of ten loops. They then went blow for blow, accelerating in turn without managing to win the other.
The victory was decided in the sprint, which the Dutchman launched from afar to quickly take two to three lengths from his rival and finally win on a circuit designed by his father, Adrie.
Elite men – The ranking:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (NED) the 10 laps/32.25 km in 1 h 07:20
2. Wout Van Aert (BEL) mt
3. Eli Iserbyt (BEL) at 12.
4. Lars van der Haar (NED) 13.
5. Michael Vanthourenhout (BEL) 46.
7. Gerbern Kuypers (BEL) 54.
8. Laurens Sweeck (BEL) 59.
9. Cameron Mason (GBR) 1:08.
10. Clement Venturini (FRA) 1:30.