Mathieu van der Poel: “It was certainly not the intention to go alone, but everyone was on the limit”


Mathieu van der Poel is a serious contender for overall victory in the Baloise Belgium Tour in Durbuy. With a 36-kilometre solo, he got a lead on his closest competitors.

“It was definitely not the intention to go alone, but it went very fast, and everyone was at their limit. It was difficult to get control throughout the day, even though the team did a very good job. It got harder and harder so I decided to go for the attack myself. I ended up isolated and the roads here around Durbuy were very unforgiving to ride alone. So, it was gruelling until the finish, but I’m glad I made it.”

Trek-Segafredo’s Tom Skujins helped the chasing group to get a little closer, but that didn’t knock the Dutchman out of his stride: “I didn’t really know that and didn’t look back either. I try not to do that when I’m alone. I just focused on my own power and tried to ride to the finish.”

“There are a lot of great ways to win, but it’s always nice to cross the line alone.” Van der Poel has taken some nice strides towards the Tour de France since last week. “Last week in Dwars door het Hageland, things went fairly well already. I wasn’t in top condition yet, but I was where I needed to be until I suffered a puncture. The rhythm of the races and a few days of extra rest do me good. So far, I can’t complain, and everything is going perfectly in preparation for the Tour, I hope I can keep it that way. All that remains is the final stage tomorrow and the National Championships in the run-up to the Tour.”



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