Wout van Aert is a rider that will not settle with second place in the big races. Milano-Sanremo today was no exception as the Jumbo-Visma attempted to take a second win in Italy, however against Mathieu van der Poel nothing could be done today.
“We always kept the leading group close. The pace was high all day. Maybe on the Cipressa it was easier than expected. There was a bit more headwind than predicted, because of the many corners. That was different than expected. We came to the Poggio with a large group, then there were gaps," van Aert details in an interview following the race.
"I knew I wanted to attack at the end of the Poggio" - Mathieu van der Poel's plan works to perfection at Milano-Sanremo
Jumbo-Visma saw Jan Tratnik out of contention as he crashed before Cipressa, and Christophe Laporte was rather absent from the front. Wout van Aert found himself more isolated then normal, however he had the legs to follow Tadej Pogacar when he attacked.
“It was a nice group up front. I was in the company of very strong riders. We raced to win, Mathieu did that too. He was very strong," the Belgian said. Van der Poel had the legs to escape the group towards the summit, and flew down the descent. Van Aert chased throughout the whole descent and looked to work with Ganna and Pogacar in pursuit of the victory, but it had already escaped.
Van der Poel soared to victory, snatching it from van Aert as was the case in the Cyclocross World Championships. Filippo Ganna took second place in the final sprint as van Aert settled with third. A result which he did not looked pleased with waiting for the podium.
“I have no regrets. I think Mathieu showed everyone that he was super strong. He made a strong move at the right time. Congratulations to him," he concluded.