Cycling

Mathieu van der Poel makes Milan-San Remo history 62 years after his grandfather

    SANREMO, ITALY, MARCH 18.  Mathieu Van Der Poel of the Netherlands and Team AlpecinDeceuninck celebrate on the podium as race winner with a trophy during the 114th MilanoSanremo 2023 in the 294km one day race from Abbiategrasso to Sanremo MilanoSanremo UCIWT on March 18, 2023 in Sanremo, Italy.  Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
SANREMO, ITALY, MARCH 18. Mathieu Van Der Poel of the Netherlands and Team AlpecinDeceuninck celebrate on the podium as race winner with a trophy during the 114th MilanoSanremo 2023 in the 294km one day race from Abbiategrasso to Sanremo MilanoSanremo UCIWT on March 18, 2023 in Sanremo, Italy. Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Mathieu van der Puel began to realize the significance of his solo victory at Milan-San Remo as the sun sets over San Remo.

Few riders have managed to attack solo on Poggio and then win solo on Via Rome. Van der Pool did so by setting a new time record for climbing Poggio and 62 years after his grandfather Raymond Poulidor won solo at the same finish.

Van der Poel put his Milan-San Remo win ahead of his last cyclo-cross world title in his father’s hometown of Hougerheide. It also made him fall in love with the magic of Milan-San Remo.

“I love the last 100 kilometers, but the problem is that 200 kilometers before that,” rider Alpecin-Deceuninck joked.

“It’s a unique race because it’s really hard to win. You don’t always win if you’re the strongest, so that makes it especially special when you win. Few riders have won solo so I’m proud of my performance.

“I was told that this is the only monument my grandfather won, so it’s nice to win one.”

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Van der Poel is often too aggressive or overly defensive in big races driven by the desire to win. This year he entered the Milan-San Remo race with a clear logic, following the Dutch cycling strategy of licking his opponent’s plate before the start. his own.

When Tadej Pogacar (Team Emirates UAE) attacked Poggio, he waited for rival Wout van Aert (Jambo-Visma) to close the gap with a huge effort before launching his own attack that sent off Pogacar, Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) and Van Aert.

“Perhaps this is the experience I have now,” Van der Poel explained. “This is my fourth Milan-San Remo. If this was my first fight, I wouldn’t attack at the end. Now I knew that I had to go for it.

“In the past, maybe I was too defensive on the Poggio and more eager for my sprint, but now I feel really strong and took the risk of riding alone.”

However, Van der Poel insisted that he did not take risks downhill from Poggio as he dived into corners and opened up an ever-widening gap between his pursuers.

“I dropped maybe 80%,” Van der Poel said. “I didn’t want to take too many risks. I would have crashed on the descent, I would not forgive myself for this. If the group returns, you can still run to victory, but when you crash, this is not possible. I meant it.

“I was just trying to descend smoothly, but not at the limit. And then when I hit the bottom, I just started going as fast as I could to the finish line.”

Van der Pool went into detail about his win at the San Remo casino knowing he hit the jackpot.

“Milan San Remo may be the easiest Monument to ride, but the hardest to win. You don’t have many chances either, so I’m very happy with that,” he said.

“I think it’s also probably the only monument where you can get in the top five with drivers like Pogacar, world time trial champion and hour record holder like Ganna and of course Wout van Aert. So many riders can win it, but only one.”

This year it was Mathieu van der Poel.



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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