Wout van Aert looking forward to battles with Mathieu van der Poel throughout cyclocross season: "I hope to fight some good duels with him"

Wout van Aert's clock is ticking and the Jumbo-Visma rider is imminent for a cyclocross return this coming weekend, with the Antwerp World Cup serving as his first outing of the winter season. He's talked about what he expects from his start.

"When he's at 90 percent, he's going to be a tough opponent. We have a good track record in cyclo-cross and I hope to fight some good duels with him," van Aert shared in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad. "I look forward to that. I'm at 90 percent myself, I think. I can ride at a high pace for a long time, but I still miss that acceleration."

Whilst Tom Pidcock won his third event upon returning to cyclocross, he seemed to be the strongest in the Overijse cyclocross, his first World Cup race of the winter. In similar fashion, Mathieu van der Poel won his first outing in the Hulst World Cup this past Sunday. With the two former World Champions showing good enough form to fight for the wins, Wout van Aert will be in a similar position into the coming weekend.

The Belgian superstar had planned to start his stint off-road earlier in the winter, but an illness has had him postpone his preparation and return by a week. Like van der Poel, both will specifically be targeting the World Championships where they will aim to return to the rainbow stripes.

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