Van Uden praises Jakobsen and colleagues after another victory in ZLM Tour, unlucky Roosen openly questions the Tour Cycling

Van Uden praises Jakobsen and colleagues after another victory in ZLM Tour, unlucky Roosen openly questions the Tour

Van Uden praises Jakobsen and colleagues after another victory in ZLM Tour, unlucky Roosen openly questions the Tour

You win once and then you take three more: Casper van Uden of DSM-Firmenich PostNL has been known for several years as one of the bigger sprint talents in the Netherlands, but he has been strongly reinforcing that status in recent weeks. Following an impressive victory in Ründ um Köln, he has now won two stages in the ZLM Tour. He reflected on his recent wins in an interview with

Wearing his green jersey – a.k.a. The Hulk – Van Uden thundered down Jan Vermeerlaan in Roosendaal, a city in the Netherlands. There, after a long pursuit by his teammates, he crossed the finish line with hands raised in the air. One teammate was quick to congratulate him: Julius van den Berg, who lives in Roosendaal, leisurely cycled up to Van Uden. "Nice man, another one!" the experienced WorldTour professional said, genuinely excited.

One teammate after another then came to congratulate the winner – and the other colleagues – on the victory and the work done. Among them was Timo Roosen, a man who has been around the (cycling) block many times. "Casper is fast, but also incredibly strong. If he's in position, there's a great chance he'll win. But he's more than that. He also rides incredibly hard in the echelons."

Van Uden has long been recognized as a top talent, but now at the age of 22, his victory count is starting to grow. What gave him that final push? "I think he's got the flow and form, but he also stays calm. That's just the step he has made," analyzed Roosen. "We try our best to also come up with a good plan together and we are critically supportive of each other in the right ways. That makes us better as a team each time."

The Dutch winner also gave us another reason. "I think I now know how to break out. I had some trouble with that until now, but the last few times it's worked out well. I know I'm fast, but now I've learned from Roy Curvers to just go when I have a clear path. I've shown that a few times now and it's working out well."

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casper van uden

Van Uden owes a lot to Jakobsen and other teammates

"I'm really enjoying myself and I'm just happy that I can win," Van Uden expressed. "That's nice. The guys have worked hard and closed gaps, so I'm very content with that." The young Dutchman is appreciative of the confidence he has from both dsm-firmenich PostNL and recruited riders like Van den Berg, Roosen, Fabio Jakobsen and Bram Welten.

"They have so much experience, but also strength," Van Uden clarified. "We had enough talent, but those guys can teach us a lot. So I try to listen to them as well as I can, including to Fabio. People might think he's an arrogant sprinter, but he's really a great team player. They give me tips and keep me calm, even through WhatsApp. After every sprint, the group chat goes wild," Van Uden said, with a big smile.

"We have now found a good click," said the young rider, who also spoke about his relationship with Jakobsen. "I can't reveal all his secrets, of course, but he told me the same as Roy: if you have space, go. There are few guys who can sprint like that, so if you can, do it. I'm grateful for those tips."

Roosen crosses out the Tour, what's next for Van Uden?

So what is next in the coming months? Roosen indicates that he's "mainly focused on this race," which makes sense after the bad luck he has faced. The man from Tilburg in the Netherlands broke his forearm in the E3 Saxo Classic, fell ill in the Tour of Norway, and is dealing with a saddle sore in the ZLM Tour. After missing the Giro d'Italia, he honestly doesn't really think about the Tour.

"I was in the breakaway in Norway, but I immediately felt the stomach flu coming back on. Now there's this third issue, so I didn't really have confidence that I could ride well here," Roosen said. "Now I'm feeling a bit better, but I've been really cramped up for a few days. The Tour? Honestly, I'm not really thinking about it, but we'll see."

Van Uden will not ride the Tour de France, and the Tour of Spain is not on the agenda either. "I'm mainly focused on the now. It's going well, so I want to keep that up."

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