Belgian Wout van Aert won the elite men's world cyclocross championship for the third year-in-a-row on Sunday in Valkenburg.

World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Merlier and van der Haar
After Lars van der Haar grabbed the holeshot, Tim Merlier went to the front. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van Aert
Wout van Aert had a solid start, as Mathieu van der Poel (background) had a few places to make up. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Landscape
The crowds were out in force in Valkenburg. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images (File).
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Hyde
American Stephen Hyde rode in the top five in the early minutes of the race. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van der Poel and Merlier
Once van der Poel made it to the front on lap one, he hit the accelerator. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: BoroŠ
Michael BoroŠ (Czech Republic) comes to grief on the muddy course. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van Aert and van der Poel
Van Aert and van der Poel left everyone else behind on lap one. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images (File).
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Irish fans
The Irish fans were dressed up as leprechauns on Sunday. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van Aert
Van Aert set off alone on lap two, capitalizing on a mistake by van der Poel. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images (File).
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van der Poel
After losing contact with van Aert, van der Poel struggled to find a solid rhythm again. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images (File).
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Landscape
Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van Aert
As hosts of the 2018 world cyclocross championships, the region of Limburg did not disappoint in creating a world-class course in Valkenburg. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images (File).
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van der Poel and Vanthourenhout
Vanthourenhout caught and then passed van der Poel midway through the race to move into the silver medal spot. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Sweeck
Laurens Sweeck finished the day in eighth. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Bertolini
Gioele Bertolini came out of nowhere to finish sixth on the day. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van Aert
Three times champion of the world in cyclocross. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Vanthourenhout emotion
Vanthourenhout was full of emotion as he captured the silver medal. He is a former under-23 world cyclocross champion. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van Aert and girlfriend
Van Aert high-fives his girlfriend after crossing the line. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van der Poel
Van der Poel had a lonely ride down the finishing straight toward the bronze medal. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van Aert celebration
Yes! Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Podium ceremony
The sun had mostly set when the elite men’s podium finally began. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images
World Championships Valkenburg, Men Elite: Van Aert champagne
The sweet taste of victory. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images