Elite men Road Worlds report: Mathieu van der Poel is unstoppable

Wout van Aert finishes second, Tadej Pogačar in third, Mads Pedersen fourth.

Caley Fretz
by Caley Fretz 06.08.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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A crash, a broken shoe, a ripped skinsuit, and a bloody elbow couldn’t stop Mathieu van der Poel from riding to a solo victory at the 2023 Road World Championships in Glasgow. His attack at 23 km to go was unstoppable, and the star-studded chase behind knew it was done well before the finish.

A quiet Tour de France will be quickly forgotten as the Dutchman dons his second set of rainbow stripes of the year, and the first road bands of any Dutch elite man since Joop Zoetemelk in 1985.

Brief results:


Quotes of the day

Mathieu van der Poel

“It was one of the biggest goals I had left, and to win it today is amazing. Almost completes my career in my opinion, for me it’s maybe the biggest victory on the road. I can’t imagine yet riding in the rainbows for a year. 

On the crash: “If this had cost me the world title, I would not have slept for a couple days.”

Not that it was stupid, because I wasn’t taking risks. I don’t know, in this corner all of a sudden I was on the ground. I was pretty pissed at myself, but it’s not that I was taking risks in my opinion, I just had to stay on the bike and I didn’t manage of course. It was super slippery at times. It was really difficult.”

Remco Evenepoel

“In the end, I knew I had to get rid of guys like Mathieu and Tadej, because they are super explosive on a course like this, which didn’t really suit me in the end. I had to try to go alone.”

Neilson Powless

“Probably one of the hardest days on the bike I’ve ever had.”


Mathieu van der Poel wins the world title. Photo: Luis Angel Gomez/SCA/Cor Vos © 2023

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