Van Aert and Van der Poel will face each other 6 times this CX season
Van Aert and Van der Poel challenge each other to six duels in the mud. The two cyclo-cross stars will return in a few weeks to the discipline where they grew up. Their calendars include several World Cups, although they will also be competing in other races over the traditional Christmas period.
Cyclo-cross awaits its beasts: Van Aert and Van der Poel face off for six days
The cyclo-cross season, which started about two months ago, continues. The riders are getting ready to face the carousel of races during the Christmas holidays, the intensive part of the calendar in which they have to link races with hardly any time to rest. A few days ago Van der Poel published the races he will compete in this season, something that Van Aert also did this week.
Van Aert will be the first to get muddy at the Exact Cross of Essen ( December 9). The Belgian will have his first taste of mud before meeting Van der Poel at the Exact Cross in Mol ( December 22) - also the Dutchman's first event of the season.
The following day they will both take part in the Antwerp World Cup and shortly afterwards they will meet again at the start of the Gavere World Cup ( December 26). They will then go to war on their own and, after a brief parting of the ways, they will meet again at the front in the Hulst World Cup (December 30).
The year will start with another duel at the X20 in Baal ( January 1) and will be followed a few days later at the X20 in Koksijde ( January 4).
From here on, the fate of both riders is confused in the distant calendar. While Van der Poel has confirmed his attendance at the Zonhoven World Cup ( January 7) and the Benidorm World Cup (January 21), Van Aert's presence is up in the air.
As explained by Jumbo, in principle the Belgian intends to attend his appointment - which would add two new duels with Van der Poel - although the dates almost overlap with the team's training camp. This circumstance generates some problems and the fatigue that Van Aert feels at that moment will be key to decide whether to take the start or to put an end to the mud season.
On the other hand, Van Aert's participation in the World Championships in Tabor ( February 4) is still up in the air, in a year in which he intends to prioritise his objectives on the road, which include the Spring Classics and the Giro as his first stages.
Here is a table with the races and dates to enjoy the clashes between Van Aert and Van der Poel.
|Van Aert VS Van der Poel CX 2023-24|
|Mol Exact Cross||December 22|
|Antwerp World Cup||December 23|
|Gavere World Cup||December 26|
|Hulst World Cup||December 30|
|Baal X20||January 1|
|Koksijde X20||January 4|
|Zonhoven World Cup (no confirmation from Van Aert)||January 7|
|Benidorm World Cup (no confirmation from Van Aert)||January 21|
Thus, the first duel between the two is just over a month away. Although Van Aert has not yet confirmed his presence in Zonhoven and Benidorm - which would make eight times this season - they will have to face each other in at least six races.