Cyclocross Magazine’s Christine Vardaros caught up with new 2016 Elite Men’s Cyclocross World Champion Wout van Aert at the midweek 2016 Parkcross Maledgem race for an exclusive interview with the 21-year-old superstar.

Wout reflected on his prep for the World Championships, his big win, and explained his tire choice and tubeless tubular rumors in the interview:

On van der Poel being the overwhelming favorite for the 2016 World Championships:

For me it was better to be in the underdog position. I was a lot more relaxed than Mathieu I think.

On the prototype tubeless Dugast tubulars that the television announcers said Wout van Aert, Sven Nys and Mathieu van der Poel were using:

It’s really good for dry conditions. When the conditions were a little bit more normal, maybe it was good. But on the wet course, like it was on Sunday, the old ones were better.

See the full interview above and stay tuned for a full bike profile of van Aert’s winning ride, and see the full 2016 Parkcross Maldegem results, which includes seven North Americans, here.