Wout van Aert is full of disbelief after his victory in Milan-San Remo. The Belgian was the strongest in the Italian cycling monument on Saturday by beating Julian Alaphilippe in a sprint-à-deux.
“I am very happy”, Van Aert exulted after his victory. “I can’t believe I’m winning two big races in a row. I don’t have words for it. Now I know what it feels like to win a monument. To restart the season like this feels crazy and really cool.”
The 25-year-old Van Aert also triumphed last Saturday in the Strade Bianche, the first major race since the resumption of the cycling season. With this, the Jumbo-Visma rider booked his first victory in a one-day WorldTour race.
On the Poggio, last year’s winner, Alaphilippe, attacked and no one could keep up with the Frenchman’s pace. Also for Van Aert it was a bit of a struggle, so he had to leave a hole.
“Alaphilippe went really fast”, he looked back. “But I kept fighting and instilled in myself that he was also on the limit. That turned out to be correct. That way the race could start again.”
Van Aert recorded his first victory in a cycling monument. (Photo: Pro Shots)
‘Alaphilippe played it smart’
In the descent Van Aert was able to connect with Alaphilippe. The duo had a small lead and in the end only just stayed out of the grip of the chasing group. In the sprint, the triple cyclocross world champion turned out to be slightly stronger.
“On the way to the finish, Alaphilippe forced me to the head. He played it smart and I had to have some energy left for the sprint. In the sprint it was all over my body. I’d rather eat my handlebars than be patted. even if you want to win a monument. ”
Van Aert was also full of praise for his teammates, who did a lot of work for him. “My teammates have again done a fantastic job. As a lightweight, Antwan Tolhoek is not made for the front work, but he has improved it. It is fantastic that they believe in me so, then you grow above yourself.”
“Bert-Jan Lindeman and Paul Martens kept me well in front. Then Timo Roosen stayed with me towards the Cipressa and Amund Jansen did a fantastic job on the Poggio. They stood out above themselves. That was very nice to see”, Van Aert concluded.