Dutch rider Lars van der Haar won the men's European cyclo-cross title on home mud today ©Getty Images
Belgian riders took five of the first six places in the men’s elite race at the European Cycling Union Cyclo-Cross Championships in the Dutch venue of Col du Vam – but home cyclist Lars van der Haar claimed the gold.

 Van der Haar, who took bronze in these Championships last year, finished 25 seconds clear on the 10-lap, 27.18 kilometres course, clocking 1 hour 1min 44sec.

Quinten Hermans led home the five Belgian challengers, taking silver in 1:02:09, with bronze going to Michael Vanthourenhout, who finished second last year.

Toon Aerts, who won world bronze earlier this year, missed out on the podium by one place as he finished in 1:03:18.

There was disappointment too for another Belgian, Eli Iserbyt, who won this title at his first attempt last year having previously won the junior and under-23 versions.

Iserbyt could only manage 12th place today in 1:05:20.

That completed a home double following the victory in the previous day's women's final by world champion Lucinda Brand.

There was more Dutch joy in the women’s under-23 race, where the hosts completed a clean sweep of the medals.

Shirin Van Anrooij took gold in 44:09, with defending champion Puck Pieterse earning silver in 44.26 and bronze to world under-23 champion Fem Van Empel, who clocked 45.12.

Earlier in the day, Belgium’s Aaron Dockx won the men’s junior title, finishing 47 seconds clear in 47:06.

Home rider David Haverdings took silver, by a second, from Italy’s Luca Paletti, who had to settle for bronze.