Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) shot the main bird in the Strade Bianche in his third attempt. “It was my dream to win here someday. I am 25 years old and have already succeeded,” he said.
Just over a year after his miserable fall in the Tour de France, Van Aert (25) translated his great love for the Strade Bianche into a resounding victory. After his two third places in 2018 and 2019, he can now take the highest step.
“After my two third places in a row I had some confidence,” said Van Aert. “It was a long day of suffering. No one felt great, the heat was exhausting.”
“I paid attention to stay cool and hydrate enough. In the end I had something left over.”
Van Aert shot his decisive rocket at 13 kilometers from the finish. “Attack is the best defense,” he quipped. “If you have watched past editions, you know that attacking is never a disadvantage here.”
“My stage victory in the Tour de France was very big, but the Strade Bianche is one of the most beautiful races on the calendar. I fell in love with this race three years ago. It was my dream to win here once. I I am 25 years old and I have already succeeded. ”
“In a few years I’ll fly up here”
After the podium ceremony, Wout van Aert told his reporter again.
“Whether this is worth a world title in the field? It certainly comes close, because this is a lot more international. It still has to penetrate, but this victory is very high,” he analyzed.
“You can’t easily win this race. You can’t steal the win, either. It was a wear and tear and in the end I was the strongest.”
“Everyone had shown their good legs, but in retrospect Fuglsang lost his powers too early. I sometimes had a hard time picking it up, but I had to keep believing that everyone was giving up.”
“I had a plan to take risks in the downhill for the last stretch and to use my technique there. I started the steepest part with a bit of lead and could play all or nothing there.”
“With that heat I didn’t have much surplus after that and it became difficult, but that was for everyone. And in the meantime I drive up that final climb faster every year. In a few years I’ll fly up.”
Schachmann: “Van Aert did brilliantly with his technique”
- Davide Formolo (UAE, 2nd): “I participated in this for the first time and the team believed in me. Unfortunately in the last 20 kilometers I was gripped by the heat and I got cramps, even in my hands. In front of the podium I even had to stretching. What does this mean for Milan-Sanremo? It’s a different course and a climber like me might be better off. “
- Maximilian Schachmann (Bora, 3rd): “I had the legs and was good, but you also have to have luck and experience. I was a bit scared when Van Aert went full speed on that last strip. You could sometimes not see the roads because of the dust. Wout did it brilliantly there and showed his technique. And then he was strong. I gave everything in pursuit, but we can’t make it. “