Everyone had their eyes on Tadej Pogacar today at Milano-Sanremo. He was one of the main favourites and everyone was expecting his attack in the Poggio. It eventually came, but was not enough to create the damage he had hoped for.
“I had one goal today: to attack after Tim continued," Pogacar said in a post-race interview. "Tim did a really good job today. I must thank him very much for setting up this attack. I wasn't strong enough to go solo. We were with four riders and then Van der Poel attacked. I couldn't follow, he was too strong. I crossed the line dead. I have high hopes for the upcoming editions of this competition. That was what I wanted to do, maybe next year I will try something different. Last year I attacked four times, now only once."
"I knew I wanted to attack at the end of the Poggio" - Mathieu van der Poel's plan works to perfection at Milano-Sanremo
A less aggressive stance, but the UAE Team Emirates duo made the damage. Pogacar attacked with just over 6 kilometers to go, only followed by Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Filippo Ganna. He kept the pace all the way until the finale of the climb, but Mathieu van der Poel accelerated alone into a solo gap.
"I wasn't strong enough to break free. Mathieu sprinted to the top, while I was already devastated by my own acceleration. He made a gap very quickly and on the descent he was also better than us," he describes. The gap extended in the descent, and the trio worked their way into the front, unsuccessfully.
"You could tell he really sprinted out of the corners," the Slovenian details the chase. "With three men we couldn't do the same as him, so he won the race. The best won today and it will be the same in the Tour of Flanders," he concluded.
As was the case in Flandres last year, Pogacar sprinted to fourth place, just outside the podium.