Mathieu van der Poel of The Netherlands won the men's elite title today ©Getty Images

Mathieu van der Poel of The Netherlands joined a special group of riders by winning his fifth International Cycling Union (UCI) Cyclo-cross World Championships men's elite title.

The Dutchman was battling familiar foe Wout van Aert of Belgium in a thrilling sprint that saw Van der Poel take gold in 1hour 07min 20sec.

Van Aert settled for silver, with his compatriot Eli Iserbyt bagging bronze 12sec later.

Only Albert Zwiefel of Switzerland, André Dufraisse of France and Italian Renato Longo have five titles to their name in the categorty.

"It’s incredible, this is one of my top three victories of all time and for sure I’m going to remember this one for a long time," said Van der Poel.

"The battle with Wout has been going on for ten years already.

"I think we both bring each other to another level and it also works for the sport, I have never seen anything like this in cyclo-cross.

"After our careers, we’ll be very proud about these battles."

In the men's junior race, Léo Bisiaux of France took the gold medal in Hoogerheide in 43:48.

Dutch and Belgian riders competed the podium with Senna Remijn taking silver 11sec later.

Belgium’s Yordi Corsus won the bronze medal, beating compatriot Wies Nuyens for third place.

The women's under-23 race saw local favourite Shirin van Anrooij claim the rainbow stripes in 45:53.

Britain’s Zoe Bäckstedt bagged silver, crossing the finish line 33sec later while bronze medal went to Czech Republic’s Kristyna Zemanova, who was 1:32 behind Van Anrooij.