Visma | Lease a Bike licks wounds after disappointing Tour of Flanders: "Not same stamina as Van der Poel" Cycling

Visma | Lease a Bike licks wounds after disappointing Tour of Flanders: "Not same stamina as Van der Poel"

Visma | Lease a Bike licks wounds after disappointing Tour of Flanders: "Not same stamina as Van der Poel"

Visma | Lease a Bike could not offer a strong rebuttal to Mathieu van der Poel in the Tour of Flanders. Fielding team leaders Tiesj Benoot (fifteenth) and Matteo Jorgenson (thirty-first), the Dutch WorldTour team had high hopes, but in the end, it was not meant to be. witnessed team director Grischa Niermann's reaction after the race!

Let's go back to two days earlier. On Friday afternoon, the killer bees organized a press conference at the football stadium of KAA Gent. "We can race as the underdog. That does take some pressure off the team," Benoot said at the time. "We're not afraid of him, but of course, he plays a big part in our plan," the team bravely stated in anticipation of the race.

On Friday in the Ghelamco Arena, Jorgenson already mentioned that Van der Poel was "supernatural". "He is super strong and he is by far the top favorite, of course. Still, anything can happen. I myself prefer a tough race. Then I am just a bit better," the American said beforehand.

Niermann realistic after Van der Poel's Tour of Flanders masterclass

And so, on Sunday afternoon, all eyes were on those two team leaders. For a moment, Jorgenson seemed to be able to follow the world champion up the Koppenberg - which, by the way, was very slippery and slick - but he soon had to concede to the eventual winner. The American fell back into the group in pursuit and could not make a significant impact there. "We had a plan and in my opinion, we went down fighting. The guys executed it very well. Matteo seemed to be the second best on the Koppenberg, but he paid the price for his effort," Niermann said.

Read more below the photo!

Jorgenson seemed to be able to keep up with Van der Poel at the beginning of the spectacle phase

"Unfortunately, he doesn't have Van der Poel's stamina yet. He hasn't ridden many races of 270 kilometers yet. And otherwise, Mathieu would have dropped him elsewhere. We have to be honest about that," the German continued in a realistic tone. But what was the plan of the yellow-blacks? "Igniting the race early on, that was the plan. Anyone who goes up Oude Kwaremont or Koppenberg for the second time alongside Mathieu van der Poel can only compete for second place. So, we hoped to make something happen before that, but it didn't work out. Unfortunately. We did what we could."

Visma | Lease a Bike's classic spring season riddled with bad luck

Moreover, Visma | Lease a Bike was once again struck by a large dose of bad luck. And of course, that wasn't the first time this classic spring season. "The whole time, especially since the E3, we've had a lot of bad luck and many disappointments. Not only with Wout van Aert's fall but also with the dropouts of Christophe (Laporte, ed.) and Jan (Tratnik, ed.). Crashes, broken bikes. That kind of thing. It was no different here in the Tour of Flanders. Take Tiesj, for example, who had a puncture at a crucial moment and could no longer compete for second place. That's tough. We have to deal with it."

Finally, what's it like to race with such an incredibly strong in-form Van der Poel? "What he showed today is very impressive. He had to come out of his shell a few times, but with fifty kilometers to the finish, he just leaves everyone behind and rides solo to the finish. The best man definitely won," concludes the 48-year-old former pro.

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