Cyclocross world champion Mathieu van der Poel expected to make Ghent-Wevelgem debut

The Dutchman’s Correndon-Circus team have been granted a wildcard spot

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Newly-crowned cyclocross world champion Mathieu van der Poel is expected to ride Ghent-Wevelgem for the first time.

The Dutchman is likely to make his cobbled Classic debut as his Corendon-Circus have been granted a wildcard spot.

Van der Poel bested long-time rival Wout Van Aert in Bogense, Denmark on Sunday (February 3) to end the Belgian’s three-year streak of world titles.

Ghent-Wevelgem takes place on Sunday, March 31 with 25 teams ready to line up for the cobbled Classic.

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A full roster of WorldTour teams will do battle, alongside seven Pro Continental outfits.

Corendon-Circus will be joined by Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Wanty-Gobert, and Wallonie Bruxelles.

Niki Terpstra’s new Direct Energie team have been invited, as well as Cofidis and Roompot-Charles.

Van der Poel is already developing a strong road palmarès, alongside his dominance in CX.

In 2018, he won a stage of Boucles da la Mayenne as well as the overall, took the Dutch national road title and finished second at the European Championships in Glasgow.

He rounded out his road campaign with two stage wins at the Artic Race of Norway in August.

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In the cross world, van der Poel had won 25 of 27 races he entered before destroying his competition at the World Championships.

He distanced Wout Van Aert mid-race and held on to take his second rainbow jersey.

Van Aert joins Dutch team Jumbo-Visma from March 2019, making his debut at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and riding a full cobbled Classics campaign.

His season is set to include Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, E3, Ghent Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

Later in the season Van Aert is expected to ride the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Speaking earlier this year, the 24-year-old said: “I’ll ride the Dauphiné in service of the team and I hope to learn a lot. I’m looking forward to it.

“The French stage race is a new step in my development process as a road racer.”

After the Dauphiné in June van Aert looks to the Belgian national championships, a test for some of the best one-day racers in the pro peloton.