“Luckily, we’ve got Mathieu van der Poel to come and play" - Adam Blythe can't see Team Visma | Lease a Bike's dominance lasting all spring

Starting the 2024 season similarly to how they ended 2023, Team Visma | Lease a Bike were the dominant force in the peloton at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, seemingly always in control and eventually taking two steps on the podium through Jan Tratnik and Wout van Aert.

With Christophe Laporte coming home in 5th, it was actually three Team Visma | Lease a Bike riders in the top-5. “Luckily, we’ve got Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin–Deceuninck ed.) to come and play," reflected ex-pro turned Eurosport pundit, Adam Blythe in his post-race analysis for the channel.

“The dominance of that Visma team - it’s not just Wout van Aert - there’s not just one rider at Visma - they’re all capable of winning it in such different ways, and that’s what makes them almost impossible to beat," Blythe continues, referencing the fact that whilst all eyes had been on van Aert, Laporte and Dylan van Baarle pre-race, it was Tratnik who prevailed. "I’d be really interested to see what it was like if Van der Poel was in that situation.”

Blythe's Eurosport colleague, Dan Lloyd however, wasn't quite as enthusiastic. “We have to remind ourselves that they didn’t win either of the cobbled monuments. They didn’t win a single monument last year," Lloyd recalls. "We thought they were going to, because they’d won every single one-day race on the cobbles before the bigger ones, but they didn’t quite perform on the day. I wonder whether they’re coming in not as hot as they did last year, because Van Aert didn’t look at the top of his game. But that’s not a worry. The bigger races are six weeks away.”

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