"I feel like I've been chasing all day" - Mathieu van der Poel snatches Liege-Bastogne-Liege podium at the very last

Once again proving he never gives up, Mathieu van der Poel's frantic chasing towards the end of Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2024 was rewarded by a spot on the final podium alongside Tadej Pogacar and Romain Bardet.

"I don't really know how I got here on stage. I feel like I've been chasing all day," reflected the world champion post-race to Sporza, having been on the back foot relatively early on after getting caught behind a crash in the peloton. "I was taking off my leg warmers and gloves, but then they fell and the entire road became blocked. At that moment I thought that we would not get back into the races, but in the end, we succeeded."

With Pogacar a clear winner, van der Poel doesn't believe that early chase made much difference to the final result however. "There was some decompression after the past few weeks, especially Flanders and Roubaix. But even with the legs I had there, I couldn't have done anything against Pogacar," he explains. "So now I'm very happy to be on the podium here, because I didn't have the prospect of it for long. I only believed in it when I joined the group for third place, even though my legs weren't very good anymore. I wanted to end my classic spring on a good note and I succeeded."

"I now understand what they mean when they say that the cobblestone and hill classics can't be combined. We have to be realistic and even with the best legs I won't be able to follow Pogacar on La Redoute. That is food for thought for the future," van der Poel concludes ominously. "Maybe I don't focus on it anymore. Only time will tell."

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