Mathieu van der Poel is very disappointed that he could not participate on Saturday for the win in Strade Bianche. The Dutchman was one of the favorites, but in the end was unable to compete with the best and became ‘only’ fifteenth.
The 25-year-old Van der Poel had a reason for this: with the final in sight, the Alpecin-Fenix rider got a flat tire, after which it took him (too) much strength to come back again.
“I lost a good result there. I did everything together with Julian Alaphilippe and a number of others to come back, but we all had a hard time on the Santa Maria. It was so hot and we already went over our limit to come back, “said Van der Poel.
“Then it was ready. Everyone had a hard time with the heat, although some can handle it better than others. I don’t want to give it as an excuse, but I got a flat tire at the worst possible time.”
“Actually the course went perfectly”
Earlier in the race, Van der Poel, who drove Strade Bianche for the first time and also drove his first race since the corona crisis, had provided the first tempo accelerations together with Alaphilippe, among others. However, the actions had little effect.
“Overall, driving Strade Bianche was a great experience, but I am still disappointed,” said Van der Poel. “Until the flat tire, I felt pretty good and the race actually went perfectly.”
Strade Bianche, the first WorldTour race since the corona crisis, was won by Van der Poel’s rival Wout van Aert. The second Italian classic will follow next Saturday with Milan-San Remo.