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Benidorm set to reunite cycling’s titans: Van Aert and Van der Poel expected to clash again in Spain

The Belgian cyclist Wout van Aert, who rides for Jumbo-Visma, has provisionally included the UCI Cyclocross World Cup – Benidorm Costa Blanca in his schedule, the event’s organisers confirmed this Wednesday. The competition is set to take place on the 21st of January.

Van Aert, the current runner-up in the World Cyclocross Championship, is expected to join, barring any surprises, the two-time rainbow jersey winner in both cyclocross and road racing, Dutch cyclist Mathieu Van der Poel. Van der Poel had previously announced his participation in the event weeks earlier.

The organisation clarified that the Belgian’s team has marked the event in Alicante with an asterisk, indicating that his definitive participation will be confirmed depending on how his season unfolds.

Last year, a memorable battle took place between Van Aert and Van der Poel at the circuit in the parks of Foietes and El Moralet, which ultimately saw the Dutch cyclist emerge victorious.

Wout van Aert is recognised as one of the premier cyclocross specialists of his time, as evidenced by his three rainbow jerseys and three overall victories in the UCI Cyclocross World Cup.

Beyond cyclocross, he is also regarded as one of the most versatile cyclists in history. His road racing achievements include victories at Milan-San Remo, Amstel Gold Race, Strade Bianche, and nine stages of the Tour de France. He has also secured the points classification jersey at the Tour de France and claimed two silver medals at the World Championships.