Belgian champion Wout van Aert admitted that he was left confused by the ways of rival Mathieu van der Poel which led to the Dutchman’s victory within the elite males’s UCI Cyclocross World Championships on Sunday at Hoogerheide.
Van Aert had predicted that his Dutch nemesis may use his bunny hopping capacity to power an important hole within the remaining part of the limitations earlier than an uphill highway dash end. Nonetheless, when the second got here, Van der Poel as a substitute stayed in second place and shocked Van Aert with a late cost to the road, leaving the Belgian no time to muster a response.
“In my thoughts I used to be at all times anticipating to be in second place on the dash due to the location of the limitations,” stated a dissatisfied Van Aert after settling for the silver medal. “I used to be targeted on that and I used to be a bit confused so I forgot to journey my very own dash.”
Reflecting on dropping the world championship title to his rival as soon as once more, a fourth time in an elite race, Van Aert thought he ought to have launched the dash first once they hit the tarmac on the ultimate stretch to the road.
“If I sprinted straight from the nook perhaps Mathieu passes me however I might most likely have a greater feeling if I had accomplished it,” added Van Aert.
“I really feel like I may have gained the race as we have been within the remaining minute of the race collectively and I nonetheless had my likelihood. He got here from behind getting two bike lengths, I acquired into his slipstream however couldn’t shut it in time. I had a 48-inch entrance ring on the again, I began altering gears as quickly as Mathieu handed me however I didn’t have sufficient gears.”
Van der Poel launched a number of unsuccessful assaults in an try to drop his rival in the course of the race, however Van Aert was in a position to reply every time. The Belgian stated he left it to the ultimate dash after being unable to muster an assault of his personal.
“It was a extremely robust race for me; from the primary lap Mathieu put beneath strain,” added Van Aert.
“The primary half of the race it was tough and due to that I didn’t actually really feel like attempting one thing. The race was fairly quick so it wouldn’t actually make sense to attempt one thing.
“Issues at all times occur for a motive and I used to be actually on the restrict from the beginning. I feel he was stronger on the finish of the day.”
Within the lead as much as the race, the limitations have been earmarked as a spot the place Van der Poel may distance his rival. The course and its man-made parts have been designed by Adrie van der Poel, a 1996 elite males’s World Champion in ‘cross and father of Mathieu. He added the boards on an uphill part near the end, and had them put in on the most peak restrict of 40 centemetres (16 inches), relatively than the 35-centemetre peak that’s prevalent in different races in the course of the common season.
Nonetheless, on the crucial day to determine the rainbow jersey, Van Aert managed to cancel out any strikes on the barrier part and stated that that they had no influence on the ultimate end result.
“It was identical to in each race, Mathieu jumps a bit quicker as he’s higher at it,” Van Aert added.
Van Aert will now flip his consideration to the highway marketing campaign and extra conferences with Van der Poel in the course of the early season Classics.
Like Van der Poel, the Belgian will begin his season at Strade Bianche subsequent month, with the pair additionally set to fulfill at Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
Van Aert says that solely 4 weeks till his first highway race will take his thoughts off ending second on the Cyclocross World Championships.
“I don’t want this for motivation for the highway season,” stated the Jumbo-Visma rider.
“It’s one good factor that it’s coming actually quick so it is going to be simpler to alter my mindset within the subsequent few days. It’s as anticipated that one can be actually joyful and the man who completed second can be actually dissatisfied in order that’s simply how it’s.”