Mathieu van der Poel heard about Mäder while on team bus: "Everyone went quiet for a moment" Cycling

Mathieu van der Poel heard about Mäder while on team bus: "Everyone went quiet for a moment"

Mathieu van der Poel heard about Mäder while on team bus: "Everyone went quiet for a moment"

Mathieu van der Poel was the top favorite par excellence to take home the victory in the individual time trial at the Baloise Belgium Tour. However, the all-rounder from Alpecin-Deceuninck had to settle for fourth place, while 23-year-old Søren Wærenskjold (Uno-X) snatched up the victory. The Norwegian was fifteen seconds faster than 'MVDP' at the finish line. After the race, Van der Poel provided explanations about a few things, and also had a conversation with the Dutch rider, who was able to don the purple leader's jersey after the 15-kilometer time trial.

"I felt like I had finished a good time trial, but I had hoped for a better result," Van der Poel said honestly after the race against the clock. "In the second part, there was a headwind, and aerodynamics played an even bigger role than usual. That's exactly what I've been working on, but apparently not well enough."

Despite having expected somewhat more from his final result in the race against the clock, Van der Poel is not dissatisfied. "I'm generally satisfied with how I felt. I'm also happy with the wattages I produced. On the other hand, it's frustrating to generate such wattages but not come close to winning the time trial. All in all, I rode a decent time trial," said the versatile rider, who keeps everyone guessing as to whether he will participate in the Dutch National Time Trial Championship.

Van der Poel did not set Tour de France time trial as goal

In his own words, Van der Poel would have preferred to win the stage and not be in the overall lead. When asked him if he wouldn't be able to get his 'revenge' in the Tour de France time trial, 'Matje' responded with a smile. "That time trial is definitely not a goal for me. Such a time trial usually serves as a recovery day for me, especially if it's held in the middle of the race, as is the case this year," referring to the fact that the Tour time trial is the sixteenth stage this year.

June 16th, 2023, will undoubtedly be remembered as the day Bahrain Victorious climber Gino Mäder passed away due to the consequences of his crash in the Tour de Suisse. Earlier in the day, Van der Poel shared a message about the tragic event on his Instagram account. The 28-year-old rider was also asked for a reaction in the press tent in Beveren. "It's difficult to put something like that into words. Of course we need to reflect on it. It's incredibly unfortunate that such an accident occurred. Everyone went very quiet on our bus when the news came in," said the talented rider, adding that he did not personally know Mäder.

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