So with the dust settling and the hangover of this year's most exciting CX event slowly lifting what to make of it and what conclusions to draw?
Firstly, the showdown at OK Corral settled the scores and I think it is now conclusive that MVDP is the better CX-racer of the two with a 5 - 3 WC, and a 147 - 88 CX cup races. Similar to the build-up for the Valkenburg WC in 2018 one rider - MVDP - dominated the other during the season but at the day of the Championship WVA bested Van der Poel. That seemed to have been a decisive moment for Van der Poel that came back super-prepared for the WC at Bogense the year after with a dominant display of power and technical provess.
Secondly, this might have been the last time either of these two will put this much heart and effort into CX. I truly hope I'm wrong but there was something with Van der Poel's winning speech after the race that makes me wonder? Feeling is now that the road will be their focus and that this might have been the great finale...
Thirdly, the generation that follow these two gigants are not likely to fill the gap. One could have hoped that Pidcock and Iserbyt would have been the next two adversaries but that does not seem to be. Pidcock focusing on the road and MTB and Iserbyt not on the same level. Sweeck, Vanthourenhout and Van der Haar are getting old and some promising younger riders like Joris Nieuwenhuis still lack that extra. Maybe the next generation will come to deliver?
Finally, it is very hopeful to see that the level in the women's races is becoming higher and these races have often been more entertaining than the men. Maybe it's here CX will profit for the years to come - when the two all-time greats have left the sport?