Wout van Aert vented his frustration after the 2020 Ghent-Wevelgem, criticising Dutch champion Mathieu van der Poel for adverse ways which noticed the pair end eighth and ninth respectively from the nine-man breakaway group.
>>> Mads Pedersen takes victory in hard-fought Ghent-Wevelgem 2020
Van Aert tried attacking from the main group a number of instances within the closing kilometres of the Belgian Traditional, however was tracked by Van der Poel in addition to different riders within the group, leaving him pissed off as Mads Pedersen received from a four-man group that shaped heading into the ultimate kilometre. The Belgian closed a number of gaps to attackers as effectively within the finale of the race, however refused when the decisive transfer meant away, leaving he and Van der Poel within the chasing group behind.
“As anticipated, we entered the ultimate with a small group”, Van Aert advised Sporza after the race. “I had good legs and I feel I used to be among the many higher within the race. However ultimately you need to gamble a bit and ultimately I’ve no prize.
“There was actually just one who checked out me the entire time,” he added.
“Van der Poel, sure. Apparently he would reasonably that I misplaced than that he received himself. He might have forgotten that I already received rather a lot and sooner or later may additionally gamble. Now we each don’t have anything.
“I rode myself to win the race, however I used to be not given any freedom. I’m disillusioned as a result of it was actually attainable. I might even have had an opportunity within the dash. However I couldn’t react to every little thing. And it was all the time the identical who was in my wheel. “
In response, Van der Poel stated it was a “unusual response” from Van Aert, and that he “all the time rides to win.”
The pair have been rivals for years primarily preventing it out in cyclocross, successful three world titles every within the final six editions of the World Championships. However now each are superstars on the street, with Van Aert probably the most in-form rider on the earth this 12 months after successful Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, and two levels on the Tour de France since racing resumed in August.
“I really assume it’s a wierd response from Wout,” Van der Poel stated to Sporza the conclusion of Ghent-Wevelgem. “He is among the finest riders in that main group. If he goes, I need to after all reply. In any other case they are going to say afterwards within the crew: ‘why did you let these males drive away?’
“I discover it a bit low to say that I rode to make him lose. I all the time experience to win.
“I don’t blame him both. I perceive it too, as a result of I really went for him just a few instances. However once more: I do this to win. He’s merely the most effective riders on the earth. That is simply racing.
The pair will meet once more within the closing Monument of the season in every week, the Tour of Flanders. Each will likely be hoping to take victory in what is going to possible be their closing race of the season following the cancellation of Paris-Roubaix.