Van der Poel: ‘Round-trip was easier than we had hoped’

He had started out as one of the favourites for the European road title, but at the end Mathieu van der Poel was just next to the podium. Yet the brand new national champion was not dissatisfied. “We had a great race with the team and tried to make it as hard as possible. However, the lap was a bit easier than we had hoped for.”

Despite a few nice attempts the Dutch trump did not manage to get away from the peloton. “It went as we had predicted beforehand: there were a couple of teams who wanted a sprint. And they did that perfectly. They also became one and two”, he referred to the Italian Giacomo Nizzolo and the Frenchman Arnaud DΓ©mare.

Finish sprint

Van der Poel also interfered in the final sprint, but did not come out of the paint optimally. “The sprint was a lottery. I was all right, I think, but the weather was a bit hectic. I had to find my way around a bit. In the end they came to each other and closed the gap I might just have been able to fill