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"It's the first time this season that I found the old Wout van Aert. I could take control of the race. It was fun to find myself again."

Photo: UCI Channel










01.11.2016 @ 18:07 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Today Wout van Aert won the Koppenbergcross. It was even the same podium as last year: Kevin Pauwels finished second, Lars van der Haar third. Mathieu van der Poel had an off day and finished nearly five minutes behind Van Aert.


We have gathered a few reactions.


Van Aert: Finally I found the old Van Aert

The new course had created some controversey and the world champion is equally critical despite the victory.


"The previous course was better," he told Sporza. "If we get it back, it is better for everyone.


"They should take us more into account. This course is very heavy, especially since we ride two races every week. With a course that is half as heavy, we will get the same result," said van Aert.


Nonetheless, Van Aert is happy with his third title at the Koppenbergcross. 


"It's the first time this season that I found the old Wout van Aert. I could take control of the race. It was fun to find myself again.


“I applied the pressure on the first climb. Only the best could follow. I have not really attacked but went at my own pace.”


Kevin Pauwels: The course was not too bad

Like last year Kevin Pauwels was second. 


"It was not too bad, but if it had rained more, it would be really tough," he said about the course.


"It was hard for me after the second lap, but everyone had to ride at his own pace. It was still not easy on the third lap. When Van Aert rode awat, I was too far back. No one could follow him. It was tough. "


Lars van der Haar: This is a mental boost

"I was suffering, really suffering," said Lars van der Haar. The Dutchman finished third. ”I'm very happy with third place, it is a mental boost. I did not expect that I would be on the podium today. I noticed in the second half that I still felt pretty good. I had to play it well my weight, especially on the climb.  I could not follow Levin in the end, but I'm really proud of my performance.


“I am really happy with this result and it will provide me with a lot of confidence going forward. I had to play in smart because I was not strong enough to follow the attacks. The power-to-weight-ratio was to my advantage on this course and I used that very well to not go over my limit.


“During the second part of the race, I felt good to keep on going and I was able to fight for second and third positions. However, I had to dig really deep and I suffered a lot. I am very satisfied with this performance and I look forward to the upcoming races.”


Mathieu van der Poel: It was an off-day

"I had a real off day, it just didn’t work," van der Poel said after the race. "I noticed right away that Wout was strong, and I burned myself in the beginning. I was trying to ride at my own pace, but it was not possible. I had not seen it coming.”


However, van der Poel started the season well.


"At the start of the season, I have been riding more consistently and better than last year, but now I had an off day. I just hope I can be back on Sunday. "




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