Mathieu Van Der Poel set his sights on his fifth world title as the Dutchman takes on Wout Van Aert as the rival for the Cyclocross World Championships Hoogerheide, Netherlands on Sunday.

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Who is Mathieu Van Der Poel?

Mathieu van der Poel is a Dutch born in Kapellen, Belgium on January 19, 1995.

Van Der Poel has six wins in his bag out of the 14 races on his schedule but was lost to Van Aert on many occasions and was beaten up by back pain yet again. However, the Dutchman is hoping to take the World Championship by winning the match on Sunday before focusing on the 2023 racing season.

“This is what I’ve worked for, ” Van Der Poel told Het Nieuwsblad in an interview before traveling from his home in Belgium to Hoogergeide. He also added that Christmas vacation helped him in having a break and to focus on the World championship. For him, the World Championship is the most important thing. Indeed, if they weren’t there, he wouldn’t have much to look for in the cross, except that it’s fun to do”.

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On the other hand, Van Aert has enjoyed a more consistent and more successful cyclocross campaign this season defeating Van Der Poel.

The Dutchman was last won in Gevere on December 26 but then suffered a string of defeats to his rival before turning the tables. However, his back pain issues strike again in the Koksijde sand. Fortunately, a road training camp with Alpecin-Deceuninck gave him time to recover, and he managed to beat Van Aert two weeks ago with a late, audacious pass.

As per the weather forecast, there will be rain on Saturday which might make the Hoogerheide clash a little slower. The high barriers are also in Van Der Poel’s favor and that may make a difference between him and Van Aert when he is taking him on the clash.

The Dutchman has already reached Hoogerheide late on Friday but is not expected to train on the course or make equipment choices until Sunday morning when the conditions are finalized.