Van der Poel wins sixth title, outstanding Boroš finishes seventh
Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel secured his sixth world championship title at the World Championship in Tábor. His compatriot, Joris Nieuwenhuis, finished second, and European champion Michale Vanthourenhout from Belgium claimed the bronze. Czech champion and Tábor native Michael Boroš had an excellent performance, matching his career-best from 2017 in Bielsu with a seventh-place finish.
In his final race of his career, three-time world champion Zdeněk Štybar competed on the Komora circuit within the Tábor complex, where he had won gold at the World Championships in 2010. Today, he finished the race in 31st place. The spectators bid farewell to him in his last moments of the racing career with a tremendous applause. Another Czech rider, Adam Ťoupalík, finished in 27th place, and Jakub Říman secured the thirty-fourth position.
Van der Poel claimed one of his previous titles in Tábor in 2015, and today there was virtually no doubt about his sixth gold for almost a minute. He converted his fourteenth start of the season into a thirteenth victory.
Right from the start, he didn't want to risk any problems and entered the terrain in the first position, which he didn't relinquish. Behind him were the Belgian Niels Vandeputte and Nieuwenhuis, with Boroš initially holding a position in the beginning of the second dozen along with Pim Ronhaar and Lars van der Haar from the Netherlands. Štybar, starting from the very last position, made his way into the middle of the third dozen after the first lap.
The Dutch dominator continually increased his lead over the competitors, with Nieuwenhuis being the only one to stay within sight. After an unconvincing start, European champion Vanthourenhout worked his way up to third place, engaging in a long battle for bronze with Ronhaar. After two laps, Boroš was thirteenth, more than a minute behind the leader, but in the next lap, he moved into the top ten.
Entering the last of the six laps, van der Poel had a one-minute lead, allowing him to ease up and secure the win. After van der Haar from the Netherlands suffered a puncture, the trio of Boroš and Belgians Thibau Nys and Jens Adams remained in the battle for sixth place. Disappointed Nys resigned first, and Adams managed to shake off Boroš towards the end. However, Boroš's seventh place is excellent, being the first rider across the finish line among the cyclocross racers from Belgium and the Netherlands.
"I didn't have any plan for the last lap; I just went full throttle. I told myself it would either work out or not. It's a shame it didn't work out for one place higher, but I'm still immensely satisfied. In the last two years, we've geared the preparation towards this race, and everything worked out for me without any technical problems. I have to thank the fans who pushed me forward, and I really enjoyed it," said Michael Boroš.
1. van der Poel 58:14,
2. Nieuwenhuis (oba Niz.) +37,
3. M. Vanthourenhout (Belg.) +1:06,
4. Ronhaar (Niz.) +1:36,
5. Iserbyt +2:08,
6. Adams (oba Belg.) +2:21,
7. Boroš +2:29, ...
28. A. Ťoupalík +6:26,
31. Štybar +7:02,
34. Říman +7:56,
43. Vaníček (všichni ČR) -2 laps.
Author: Jaroslav Cícha