Van der Poel’s win came despite the Fleming Wout van Aert (26) having dominated the early stages of the race. However, Van Aert’s hopes were dash by a flat tyre and he finished second. Bronze went to another Belgian rider Toon Aerts (27).
On Saturday Lucinda Brand took her first world cyclo-cross title after a dramatic finale in Ostend.
The 31-year-old went shoulder to shoulder with Annemarie Worst in the final corners before her fellow countrywoman’s crash gave her a winning advantage. A race-long battle saw Worst denied by just eight seconds. Denise Betsema took third to complete an all-Dutch podium.