With the 2023 Cyclocross World Championships now just mere days away, all the ins and outs of the upcoming race are being scrutinised and according to the national coaches of both favourites, the deciding factor could come from Mother Nature herself.
With very little to choose between Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel, both the Belgian national coach Sven Vanthourenhout and the Dutch national coach Gerben de Knegt have spoken to Sporza discussing how the weather could be the all-important factor in determining which of the sports superstars takes the crown in Hoogerheide.
"According to the latest weather forecasts, it will remain dry. Mathieu would like a little bit of rain," de Knegt explains. "If it becomes a really heavy mud party, Wout will of course have an advantage." Vanthourenhout's thoughts are also along similar lines, "It's a very nice and fair course. The shape of the day and - here and there - a mistake will be decisive," he muses. "The weather conditions (no rain for the time being) will also play a role, as so often."
With Hoogerheide being the home cross of van der Poel, and his father being the main course builder, many believe the Dutchman could have the advantage. "For Mathieu, Hoogerheide is more or less his home course," says de Knegt, whilst Vanthourenhout admits there is nothing between the two. "They both have a 50 percent chance of becoming world champions."
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