Cycling: Van der Poel beats Van Aert to take fourth cyclocross world title

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Arctic Race of Norway 2019: Stage 2

(Reuters) - Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel claimed his fourth cyclocross world title when he beat long-time rival Wout Van Aert of Belgium in Ostend, Belgium, on Sunday.

Van der Poel crashed early on but he caught Van Aert and powered away when the Belgian, who won three consecutive titles from 2016-18, suffered a puncture.

The grandson of former France great Raymond Poulidor, who took his rivalry with Van Aert to road racing as he beat him in last year's Tour of Flanders, never looked back to also take his third title in a row, adding to his 2015 triumph.

Van der Poel completed the eight-lap course featuring sandy sections on the shores of the North Sea, in 58:57 with Van Aert coming home third.

Belgian Toon Aerts completed the podium as Briton Tom Pidcock took fourth place.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)