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Chain Links - February 1: Van der Poel takes Cyclocross Worlds, AG2R’s Paret-Peintre wins first major road race of 2021

Van der Poel beats Van Aert on the sands at Ostend to claim his fourth rainbow jersey, while Paret-Peintre takes out a surprise sprint win at the LA Marseillaise GP

UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships - Men Elite
Mathieu van der Poel of The Netherlands wins the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships - Men Elite on January 31, 2021 in Oostende, Belgium
Photo by Jos Kafoe/BSR Agency/Getty Images

TÊTE DE LA COURSE

Welcome to Chain Links here at The Podium Cafe, a selection of cycling news links from across the internet. I do the work so that you don’t have to.

It was a huge day Sunday as Mathieu van der Poel takes out Wout Van Aert to win the cyclocross rainbow jersey following Lucinda Brand’s women’s championship victory on Saturday.

The road season started with a surprise win for AG2R’s Aurélien Paret-Peintre in a bunch sprint in Marseillaise.

Most importantly of all, of course, came right here at Podium Cafe as Chris Fontecchio announced the opening of the The 2021 FSA Directeur Sportif Competition so jump on over there and get yourself signed right up for that!

A note about this Chain Links: The descriptions of the links are pulled directly from the meta information provided by the sources. The ones in italics are from translated pages.

GRUPPO COMPATTO

AG2R cheers after French photo finish, places of honor for Livyns and Wellens - Sporza - There has been racing! The GP la Marseillaise (1.1), the first real race of this season, was won by Aurélien Paret-Peintre. The promising Frenchman of AG2R-Citroën was the fastest after a pressing sprint. With Arjen Livyns and Tim Wellens, 2 Belgians finished in the top 6.

Disappointed Van Aert: "Didn't fight back like I normally can" - Sporza - Wout van Aert had to settle for the silver at the World Championship cyclocross. He thinks Mathieu van der Poel is the deserved champion and was especially disappointed about his own lack of mental toughness. "That was not my habit," said Van Aert.

World champion Mathieu van der Poel: "I got better lap by lap" - Sporza - Mathieu van der Poel has swept the entire field of participants in a pile on the beach of Ostend, although there was no full-fledged duel due to a flat tire at Wout van Aert. "This means a lot, but it all feels a bit strange", the world champion responds after an atypical World Cup.

Van der Poel flies to 4th world title, Van Aert is (partly) derailed by flat tire - Sporza - Mathieu van der Poel (26) has been crowned cyclocross world champion for the 4th time in Ostend. In a World Cup with two faces, Wout van Aert (26) made a difference of the rest in the initial phase, but a flat tire at the end of the 3rd round initiated the turnaround. Van der Poel impressed in the rest of the World Cup. The bronze was for Toon Aerts (27).

Ciclism, Nibali ready to debut on Wednesday in Besseges - La Gazzetta dello Sport - From Wednesday to Sunday, in France, the Etoile des Besseges marks the return of the Shark. The Milanese is Italian and European champion. Today the European opening with the GP La Marseillaise: the French Paret Peintre wins in the sprint, seventh from Trentin

Cyclocross World Championships, Van der Poel makes a golden poker. Van Aert remains silver - La Gazzetta dello Sport - On the sands of Ostend and in the waves of the North Sea, the long-awaited duel is resolved in favor of the Dutch king of Flanders, despite a fall on the second lap. Pure show: the others have appeared. Italy to be rebuilt: Bertolini, 23rd at over 6 ', best blue. Women Under 23: Barons fifth. All 4 titles to Holland, which wins 8 medals out of 12 up for grabs

Van der Poel wins his 4th world championship with an exhibition against Van Aert - AS.com - The Dutchman achieved the victory after recovering from a fall and with a great comeback against the Belgian, weighed down by a puncture. Aerts, bronze. Felipe Orts, 26th.

The Ag2r smiles first with Paret and Kiko Galván shows his class - AS.com - Aurelien Paret-Peintre took an invaluable victory for the Ag2r Citroen at the LA Marseillaise GP.

Nairo Quintana wants the Giro - AS.com - The Colombian, at the expense of knowing if Arkéa will receive an invitation, wishes to participate in the Corsa Rosa. Then he would double as greats with the Tour.

Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R-Citroën) wins the Grand Prix La Marseillaise in the sprint - L'Équipe - Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R-Citroën) started the road season by winning the Grand Prix La Marseillaise on Sunday in the sprint, ahead of Thomas Boudat and Bryan Coquard.

Maarten Vangramberen’s World Cup day: “I didn’t know that beach sand could be so hard” - Sporza - Sporza reporter Maarten Vangramberen was also in the firing line during the heyday of the World Cup cyclo-cross. He ate the coldest pizza of his life and saw how a flat tire caused an anti-climax.

HORS CATÉGORIE

Hard work pays off for Lucinda Brand at cyclocross world championships – VeloNews.com - Newly crowned world champion to target Paris-Roubaix, Olympic selection and U.S ‘crosses through 2021.

Cyclocross world championships: Mathieu van der Poel powers to fourth rainbow jersey – VeloNews.com - Wout Van Aert settles for second after being unable to overcome a front puncture.

Wout van Aert disappointed to have ‘lost heart’ at Cyclo-cross Worlds - Cyclingnews - ‘Mentally, I cracked’ says Belgian after settling for silver medal

Toon Aerts: The podium at Worlds means much more than a win in a small race - Cyclingnews - Belgian rider secures third consecutive bronze at Cyclo-cross Worlds after obstacle filled season

Cyclo-cross World Championships: Van der Poel beats Van Aert to elite men's title - Cyclingnews - Toon Aerts holds off Tom Pidcock to complete podium in Ostend

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON PODIUM CAFE

Fontecchio: How Sweet It Is - The 2021 FSA Directeur Sportif Competition STARTS NOW! - Podium Cafe - Here’s to better times. And... better prices??