Wout van Aert becomes for the third time Worldchampion
"It's pretty historic to do that in this sport, the names that precede me are icons, it means a lot to get into that group, I've worked hard for it and now it's time to enjoy it," Van Aert told Sporza after the race.
Van Aert still has some way to go if he hopes to match another fellow Belgian Erik De Vlaeminck, who won six of his seven titles in consecutive years. Still just 23, there is plenty of time for Van Aert to add to his tally.
Van Aert's third win was arguably his best, with two minutes separating himself from his compatriot Michael Vanthourenhout. He rarely looked troubled, other than a crash into the barriers on the closing laps caused by a lapse in concentration. Many expected Mathieu van der Poel to dominate the race as he had been doing throughout the season, but the Dutchman looked a shadow of his usual self as he struggled to third place. Van Aert said that it had been one of his best days on the bike.
"I was expecting a big fight, a duel with Mathieu," said Van Aert. "It was especially a challenge to follow Mathieu in the first lap, I knew that would be the most difficult part of the race.
"On the second lap, I felt strong and I was looking at my pace. I had a nice gap and I was able to maintain that pace for the rest of the World Championships, which was one of the best days of my life on the bike. I went really well, I cannot believe it has turned out this way."