Adri van der Poel was the Dutch hard man of cyclocross throughout the 90s, and racked up some impressive international victories, including winning the World Championships in 1996 and the World Cup and Superprestige titles in 1997. He finished second no less than five times at the Worlds, and had some notable results in the off-season hobby of road racing (including a second place to Greg Lemond in 1983 at the road World Championships). Van der Poel retired from racing in 2000.

What does an accomplished pro like that do nowadays? In Van der Poel’s case, a lot of rest, relaxation, and some championship ‘cross course designing.

But his competitive days aren’t over. van der Poel now focuses his energy on competitive asparagus hunting. On Thursday, he helped to find and pick the very first asparagus shoot of the year in the Brabant Wal region of Holland.

He was seen pictured below (on the right, in gray), along with Martin Groffen, a Tourism and Sports official (center), and an younger-than-he-looks espoir on the left.

The picture above is of the competition’s podium ceremony. In true van der Poel fashion, he ceded the top step to Groffen, but was content with his consistency and podium place.

We thought it was going to be another slow cyclocross news week, until this story hit our desks