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Cyclocross

2015 Velo Awards: Van Aert is men’s cyclocross rider of year

Wout Van Aert's dominance in the 'cross World Cup and a near-miss at the world championships earned him the honor as best of 2015

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Though he won only one elite World Cup race during the 2014-15 season (in the sand at Koksijde), Wout Van Aert won five of eight races in the Bpost bank trophy series and finished the season ranked second on UCI points—all at the tender age of 20.

Most impressively, Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) won on all types of terrain, in all conditions, often solo. He took silver at worlds, behind Mathieu van der Poel, despite both a crash and a mechanical. It would be easy to call the race a misstep, if not for the fact that Van Aert put in the fastest lap times during the second half of the race, nearly catching van der Poel at the line.

He started his 2015-16 campaign with a convincing World Cup win at CrossVegas and, with van der Poel recovering from knee surgery, dominated the early part of the 2015-16 season. He’s not invincible, but on any given day, Van Aert is the safest bet in elite cyclocross.