Van den Berg deeply disappointed: "Just last week, I beat Cosnefroy, so to now watch him win here..." Cycling

Van den Berg deeply disappointed: "Just last week, I beat Cosnefroy, so to now watch him win here..."

Van den Berg deeply disappointed: "Just last week, I beat Cosnefroy, so to now watch him win here..."

Is Marijn van den Berg just a sprinter? Certainly not, but of course, we already knew that. In the Flèche Brabançonne, the in-form man once again showed that he is a versatile rider. The Dutchman of EF Education-EasyPost had a good chance of winning, but saw his attack eventually fail and had to settle for seventh place.

Why didn't he just wait for his sprint? That was perhaps the most asked question about Van den Berg in the Flèche Brabançonne. The 24-year-old rider from De Meern in the Netherlands already proved several times this season that he is extremely fast. For instance, he won the final stage of the Région Pays de la Loire Tour, after already winning a stage in the Tour of Catalonia, both times after a sprint. Among the favorites for the Flèche Brabançonne, on paper he was also by far the fastest, but he tried to go for the win through a solo attempt. He entered the final kilometer with a ten-second lead, but it was Joseph Blackmore who sacrificed himself for Dylan Teuns (eventually second) and thereby closed the gap.

Van den Berg riding Amstel Gold Race for the first time on Sunday

Van den Berg was clearly frustrated after the race, including when he spoke to "Looking back, it probably wasn't smart to not wait for the sprint. I'm usually great at sprinting," he shared, sounding disappointed. "There was a moment where they left a gap, and I thought, 'Why not go for it?' Initially, I felt strong, but eventually, I just ran out of steam. I really shouldn't have continued pushing so hard. It was a mistake not to hold out for the sprint. I'm definitely disappointed about that. Was I the strongest in the breakaway? Possibly. I felt really strong on the Moskesstraat. This kind of effort is right up my alley. If I keep improving, I'll be better equipped to handle this in the future."

Just a week before, Van den Berg had clinched a stage win in France, with none other than Flèche Brabançonne winner Benoit Cosnefroy finishing second. "Watching him win here makes the disappointment sting even more," Van den Berg admitted. "I could have achieved a victory here in the same way. At least I'm in good shape," he concluded, clearly looking ahead to participating in the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. "I'm hopeful I can put on a good show there," he said, full of ambition. "It'll be my first time at the Amstel. I'm familiar with the roads. We have Ben (Healy, ed.) as our team leader. He's a great captain."

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