"In retrospect, that's not smart" - Dylan van Baarle blames poor training for below-par Classics performances

A winner of a number of the big Classics, Dylan van Baarle has been notably below-par so far this season. However, the 31-year-old is certain he already knows the root of the problems.

“I tried to do the training I wanted to do, in the rain,” the former Paris-Roubaix, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Dwars Door Vlaanderen winner reflects in conversation with the AD podcast In Koers. “If you have already been ill, that may not be the ideal preparation, not the way to recover. In retrospect, that's not smart. But yes, I have to learn lessons from that and try to prevent it next year.”

Nowhere was this poor level more evident for van Baarle than at the Tour of Flanders. “I should have discussed the fact that I was recovering worse than normal on Monday and Tuesday, in view of the Wednesday training in the rain,” he recalls, refusing to put the blame on Team Visma | Lease a Bike. “It's also up to me. I do these training sessions with blinders on so that it doesn't matter to me whether it is snowing, thirty degrees or raining. If it's in my head like that, it just has to happen.”

“It's not the way to always do it that way. I also didn't communicate well about how I felt," van Baarle concludes. "I'm sure that if I had done that, Mathieu Heijboer would have told me to train shorter. But sometimes you just have to hit your head hard to not make those mistakes again.”

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