Mathieu van der Poel started to understand the importance of his solo victory at Milan-San Remo because the solar set over San Remo.
Few riders have managed to assault alone on the Poggio after which win solo within the Through Rome. Van der Poel did it, setting a brand new report time for the climb of the Poggio and 62 years after his grandfather Raymond Poulidor gained alone on the identical end.
Van der Poel positioned his Milan-San Remo win above his most up-to-date cyclocross world title in his father’s residence city of Hoogerheide. It additionally made him fall in love with the magic of Milan-San Remo.
“I really like the final 100 kilometres however the issue is that 200km earlier than,” the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider joked.
“It’s a singular race as a result of it is a actually tough race to win. You do not all the time win for those who’re the strongest, in order that makes it actually particular whenever you do win. Not a whole lot of riders have gained solo, so I am happy with my efficiency.
“They instructed me it is the one Monument my grandfather gained, so it is good to win the identical one.”
Van der Poel is commonly over aggressive, or overly defensive, within the massive races, pushed by his need to win.This 12 months he raced Milan-San Remo with a transparent logic, following the Dutch biking technique of licking his rival’s plate clear earlier than beginning his personal.
When Tadej Pogačar (UAE Workforce Emirates) attacked on the Poggio, he waited for rival Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) to shut the hole with an enormous effort earlier than launching his personal assault that distanced cracked Pogačar, Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) and Van Aert.
“That is perhaps the expertise I’ve now,” Van der Poel defined. “That is my fourth Milan-San Remo. If this was my first one I do not assume I’d have attacked on the finish. Now I knew that I needed to go for it.
“Prior to now perhaps I used to be a bit too defensive on the Poggio and aiming extra for my dash however now I felt actually robust and I took the chance to go on my own.”
But Van der Poel insisted he didn’t take dangers on the descent of the Poggio as he dived by means of the corners and opened an ever-growing hole on the chasers.
“I went down at perhaps 80%,” Van der Poel mentioned. “I did not wish to take too many dangers. I’d crash within the downhill, I wouldn’t have forgiven myself. If the group comes again, you may nonetheless dash for the victory however whenever you crash, it is inconceivable. I had that in thoughts.
“I simply tried to go down regular, however not on the restrict. After which once I obtained to the underside, I simply began driving as quick as I may till the end line.”
Van der Poel spoke at size about his victory within the San Remo on line casino, figuring out he had hit the jackpot.
“Milan-San Remo is perhaps the best Monument to experience nevertheless it’s probably the most tough one to win. You do not get a whole lot of possibilities both, so I am actually proud of this one,” he mentioned.
“I believe that is additionally perhaps the one Monument the place you may have a high 5 like this with stage racers like Pogačar, a world time trial champion and Hour Report holder like Ganna and naturally Wout van Aert. So many riders can win it however just one does.”
This 12 months it was Mathieu van der Poel.