Mathieu van der Poel won the men's elite title ©Twitter/UEC Cycling

Mathieu van der Poel won the men’s elite title for the third successive year at the Cyclo-Cross European Championships in Silvelle.

The Dutch star was the favourite heading into the European Cycling Union event in the Venetian town.

He faced a strong challenge from Belgian rider Eli Iserbyt throughout the duration of the competition.

Van der Poel, the reigning world champion, eventually broke free of his rival on the final lap.

The 24-year-old surged clear to win the title in a time of 58min and 22sec.

Iserbyt was forced to settle for the silver medal after crossing the line three seconds behind.

The podium was completed by Belgium's Laurens Sweeck, who was 20 seconds adrift of the winner.

The Dutch celebrated double gold in the elite races as Yara Kastelijn won the women’s race.

Kastelijn broke clear on the first of the four laps and built her advantage over the field.

She finished in a winning time of 41:05, with Italy’s Eva Lechner ending 12 seconds behind.

The Netherlands’ Annemarie Worst rounded off the podium in 41:31.

There was further success for the Dutch team as Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado reigned supreme in the women’s under-23 event, finishing ahead of Britain’s Anna Kay and France’s Marion Norbert Riberolle.

France’s Mickael Crispin won the men’s under-23 title, with Belgium’s Timo Kielich and Antoine Benoist of France completing the podium.

There was a Belgian one-two in the men’s junior race with Thibau Nys winning from team mate Jente Michels.

Switzerland’s Dario Lillo finished third.

A clean sweep of women’s titles for The Netherlands was sealed by Puck Pieterse after she won the maiden junior event.

France’s Olivia Onesti and Shirin Van Anrooij of the Netherlands completed the podium.