UCI World Championships: Van Der Poel wins road race rainbow jersey 

The Dutch rider shredded part of his right shoe in a late crash, but recovered to cross the finish line ahead of the chasing pack.

UCI World Championships: Mathieu Van Der Poel wins road race rainbow jersey in Glasgow SNS Group

Mathieu Van Der Poel survived a late crash on the damp streets of Glasgow to claim the coveted rainbow jersey in the men’s elite road race at the UCI Cycling World Championships.

Van Der Poel slipped on a right-hand corner a little over 16 kilometres from the end of the 271km race, but quickly remounted and continued to put time into a chasing group of Wout Van Aert, Tadej Pogacar and former world champion Mads Pedersen.

The Dutchman had shredded part of his right shoe as he slid across the tarmac, unable to tighten it back up, but with adrenalin pumping through his body – and a hint of anger on his face – he powered away and opened up an unassailable gap on the last of 10 laps around the city centre.

Van Der Poel, grandson of the great late French rider Raymond Poulidor and son of Dutch former world cyclo-cross champion Adri Van Der Poel, already had five world titles in cyclo-cross, but becomes the first Dutchman to win the men’s road world title since Joop Zoetemelk in 1985.

Belgium’s Van Aert came in second before Pogacar beat Pedersen in a sprint for third place.

The riders would have avoided the worst of the wet weather which characterised the final three laps of the race were it not for environmental protestors who held up the race for almost an hour in the morning as the peloton made their way over from the start in Edinburgh.

Great Britain’s Owain Doull and Irishman Rory Townsend had been part of a nine-strong breakaway who had more than seven minutes on the peloton at the time, but all the riders had to take an extended break as police worked to clear the road.

The technical Glasgow circuit, a considerable challenge even in the dry, would quickly break up the race once they arrived into town.

Van Der Poel, Pedersen, Pogacar and Van Aert had been in a select group that went clear with around 70km left before the rain began to arrive with a little over an hour of racing left, a beautiful rainbow appropriately arcing over the city as riders contested the jersey of the same name beneath it.

Alberto Bettiol launched an attack off the front and opened up a gap of around 30 seconds, but he was reeled in as Van Der Poel made his own decisive move with 23km remaining, quickly opening up a gap as they made their way through Kelvingrove Park.

As the rain made for treacherous conditions in the tight corners, he slipped on a painted surface but it would not stop him taking a deserved title.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in