Mathieu van der Poel: "I'm happy to be back, I can really only be happy with today"

Mathieu van der Poel marked his return to cyclocross with victory in the World Cup of Hulst. The Dutchman crossed the finish line solo, ahead of Laurens Sweeck and Eli Iserbyt.

"This feels pretty good," Van der Poel said in post-race interview. He continues, "It took me a while to win in the field. Last year wasn't good. That wasn't even a whole season because I only rode a race and a half... But I felt good today. So I had had a good preparation for this cross in Hulst."

Van der Poel made a small mistake which gave Tom Pidcock an edge, and he wants to avoid such mistakes in the future. "I'm very happy with the form. Only technically I made a lot of mistakes, but that seems normal to me.I've been away from cross country for a long time, but I'm happy to be back. I still have work to do to get to top level. But I can really only be happy with today," said van der Poel.

His target remains World Championship and he wants to be in his best form by the end of December. "I still need some more crosses. My form is very good because I had a good preparation in Spain. I also still need some specific cross training, then I hope to be in shape by Christmas," concluded van der Poel.

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