Belgian cycling federation apologises for fans’ ‘unsportsmanlike and offensive behaviour’ at cyclocross World Championships

Fans were photographed making offensive gestures aimed at winner Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel was subjected to abuse at the cyclocross World Championships
(Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA / BELGA)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

The Belgian cycling federation has been forced to apologise for the ‘offensive behaviour’ of fans towards Mathieu van der Poel at the cyclocross World Championships.

Van der Poel was dominant in the elite men’s race in Bogense, Denmark on Sunday (February 3), besting Belgian rivals Wout Van Aert and Toon Aerts.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.