Van der Poel bags cyclo-cross event after cycling legend granddad Poulidor's death

Brussels (AFP) –


Dutch cycling ace Mathieu van der Poel won a World Cup cyclo-cross event in the Czech Republic on Saturday just three days after his legendary grandfather Raymond Poulidor's death.

Van der Poel is world cyclo-cross champion, European mountain bike champion and winner of this year's edition of road racing's prestigious Amstel Gold classic.

The 24-year-old's maternal grandfather Raymond Poulidor, who died aged 83 on Wednesday, is a household name and national hero in France after finishing on the Tour de France podium eight times, winning the hearts of rural France without ever having won the event itself.

Despite his Tour de France disappointments, Poulidor ranks among France's cycling greats and is seen as a humble hard worker loved by the people who earned every one of his many triumphs.

The multi-discipline Van der Poel is tipped by many inside the sport to avenge his grandfather and eventually win the Tour de France.

Poulidor will be given a funeral in his hometown village in rural central France on Wednesday.