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Mathieu van der Poel’s victory salute was different on Sunday for a very special reason

The world champ was doing a favour for his cousin (good thing he won!)

Mathieu van der Poel took another big win on Sunday at the final round of the 2023-24 UCI CX World Cup series in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands, but his victory salute was quite different than usual.

MvdP waited until the last lap to make his move–he said he was a bit tired, after the race–but ended up putting five seconds into Joris Nieuwenhuis (Baloise Trek Lions), and a few more into his teammate Pim Ronhaar.

The win was the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider’s fifth win in the 2023-24 World Cup and 12th of the season. We’ve seen MvdP win a lot of races, and his victory salutes are usually quite similar—a quick look behind (even if his nearest rival is miles behind), zip up the jersey, and throw two hands in the sky.

On Sunday, however, he took his index finger and joined it with his thumb. What did it mean?

“That was a gender reveal for my cousin,” the world champion explained. “I had the honour of making known the sex of his baby. I had to make that gesture with a girl, with a boy I had put a thumbs up.”