After about 300 kilometers, the Belgian of the Dutch team Jumbo-Visma on the Via Roma in Sanremo was too strong in the sprint for the Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, last year’s winner. Van Aert, 25, also triumphed last week in Strade Bianche.
‘La Primavera’ was supposed to take place on March 21, but because of the corona crisis it was canceled. The Italian race, usually the first spring classic, was therefore held almost five months later.
“Cling on, cling on, clinging”
Alaphilippe attacked on the Poggio, the last climb at about 7 kilometers from the finish, and he got Van Aert with him. The Frenchman from Deceuninck – Quick-Step managed to release the Belgian shortly before the top, but Van Aert came back in the descent. “Julian went on the Poggio early on. The only thing that crossed my mind was: cling on, clinging on, clinging on ”, said Van Aert. “But that didn’t work, I had to let go. There was no one behind me, so I had no choice and had to keep pushing. In the descent I could come back. ”
Mathieu van der Poel, who was counted among the favorites, was in the chasing group. The Dutch leader of Alpecin-Fenix led the chase at the start of the last kilometer, but the group with many contenders arrived just too late to avoid a sprint duel between Alaphilippe and Van Aert.
Mathieu van der Poel
Ⓒ HH / ANP
“Unbelievable, I have no words for it”
“Julian played it smart, he made sure that I was in the lead. It was difficult to drive at the right speed, because the group was coming, and also to have something left for the sprint. In the end I had just enough to win with half a wheel difference ”, said the Belgian, who was so badly injured in the Tour de France last year and had to convalesce for months. “Two victories in a row at the start of the season. Unbelievable, I have no words for it. ” Last week, Van Aert also crossed the finish line in Siena.
Sunweb’s Australian Michael Matthews won the sprint for third place, ahead of Slovakian Peter Sagan. Van der Poel finished thirteenth in his first Milan-Sanremo.