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"It was difficult, but actually I only have to attack once to make a difference. I rode à bloc once. I quickly had a gap of ten seconds and could keep that lead until the finish."










18.01.2016 @ 18:44 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mathieu van der Poel confirmed that he is in excellent condition for the World Championships as he crushed the opposition in the penultimate round of the World Cup. After a very bad start, the world champion slowly moved up and as soon as he hit the front, he dropped everybody else, riding to a comfortable solo win. Wout Van Aert was a distant second, followed by Lars van der Haar in third, but it was enough to extend his overall lead.


We have gathered a few reactions


Sven Nys: "My bike-handling skills are terrible"

"I handle my bike terribly,” a frustrated Sven Nys told Het Nieuwsblad. "While I used to be so good at moving from one corner to another while riding on the wheel, I now always lose time. I have felt that for a few weeks. I have the legs to be in front, for a third or fourth place. But I always have to watch closely because I handle my bike badly, make mistakes, get out of my pedals. That's just very frustrating. "

Nys also expressed his frustration on Twitter: "A swollen knee, injured shoulders and a frustrated soul. I control my bike even worse than in my childhood."


Mathieu van der Poel: "I only had to accelerate once"

Mathieu van der Poel just had to accelerate once to get rid of his opponents and solo to victory ahead of Wout van Aert and Lars van der Haar. Van der Poel completely missed his start, rode in 10th position on a course that makes passing difficult and had to chase for a long time. He made it to the front halfway through the race


"I was what trapped at the start and had to show patience," he told Het Nieuwsblad afterwards. "It is a difficult course, there were some guys in front of me and I could not pick my own lines. It was a little frustrating, but I stayed calm. I also saw that the pace was not high in the front group and decided to ride back to the front at my own pace.


He barely gave himself any rest when he reached the front. The Dutchman took the lead mmediately and he accelerated a first time in a difficult section. That was enough. Van der Haar briefly looked like he would follow him but quickly had to surrender. Van Aert tried to get back but failed to close the gap. "It was difficult, but actually I only have to attack once to make a difference. I rode à bloc once. I quickly had a gap of ten seconds and could keep that lead until the finish. This gives confidence because Saturday’s race in Zonnebeke was tough. It's nice to see that I recovered so quickly from that effort and could win today,” Van der Poel concluded.


Van Aert: "I made ​​too much mistakes"
Belgian champion Wout van Aert was eventually second. “Today Mathieu was the strongest," the leader of Crelan-Vastgoedservice told Het Nieuwsblad. "He deserved the victory."


Van Aert could live with second place, but was not entirely satisfied with his own race. "My feeling in the race was good," he told. "But I made ​​too much mistakes in the technical sections. I should have done better. In the moment when Mathieu accelerated, I had just had a bike change and I was a bit too far back. I also made ​​a mistake and quickly knew that I rode for second place. His lead was not big, ten seconds. I felt that I could ride the same pace, but not faster to close the gap. He deserved to win. I'm glad I could increase my overall lead further and do a good job. I think I have the final victory is almost in the pocket."


Van der Haar:" There are still something to gain before the Worlds"


Lars van der Haar was third. “I am not in my best condition yet," said the Dutchman. "Fortunately there are two more weeks before the Worlds. There are still a few percentages to gain. O do not think about the overall World Cup win now. Wout has a lead of 21 points. Only the race in Hoogerheide remains. I do not think that he can miss out on the final win.


“I enjoyed the race today. I still miss that final piece towards my top shape, but I feel that it is coming. I am happy with my current level and the way I feel during the races, and I am looking forward to the weeks to come.”



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