Dutch selection for World Cup cyclo-cross: Van der Poel the logical leader, no Manon Bakker

Mathieu van der Poel is of course the eye-catcher in the men’s selection. The four-time world champion is supported by Lars van der Haar, Pim Ronhaar, Joris Nieuwenhuis, Ryan Kamp, Mees Hendrikx and Corné van Kessel.

“Everyone is looking forward to a nice duel between Mathieu and Wout van Aert on a course that is expected to be a bit muddy and therefore not too fast,” says national coach Gerben de Knegt.

“I especially hope for a fair fight, without bad luck. If it becomes a tactical joust, there may be more hijackers on the coast. Mathieu will go for nothing less than the win.”

In the women’s race, the Netherlands can send nine riders through the European title and World Cup final win of Fem van Empel. “However, it was still difficult to select in the end, because we are so strong there in terms of width”, De Knegt adds.

“For the last place I still had to choose between Aniek van Alphen and Manon Bakker. Although Manon has certainly shown good things this season, the form of the past few weeks has been decisive in Aniek’s favor.”

“I think we have 2 riders among the women with Fem van Empel and Puck Pieterse who have stood out in terms of form lately and start as favorites for the world title, but we certainly have more riders who can compete for the medals .”

In addition to Van Empel, Pieterse and Van Alphen, Lucinda Brand, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Denise Betsema, Inge van der Heijden, Annemarie Worst and outgoing winner Marianne Vos will also take part. Shirin van Anrooij rides with the promises.

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