“He is 10% better than us” - Pim Ronhaar explains why Van der Poel is a step above the rest

It was an all Dutch podium in the final round of the men’s UCI World Cup in Hoogerheide, with Mathieu van der Poel bouncing back with a victory after a tumultuous race in Benidorm last time out. He was joined on the podium by Joris Nieuwenhuis and Pim Ronhaar, who also struggled in Spain last weekend, with both of them finishing outside the top-10.

In an interview with WielerFlits after the race, Nieuwenhuis said “if you don't drive well in Benidorm, you start to have doubts. I've had a busy season, but I'm glad it turned out well today”. Also speaking to WielerFlits, Ronhaar said “my entire season has been super good and when you finish sixteenth in Benidorm, it dents morale”.

The two riders will be a part of the Dutch team alongside Van der Poel at next week’s Cyclocross World Championships in Tábor, with Nieuwenhuis saying “a lot of attention is paid to him. We can go along in the shelter. It is clear what we have in him, we have little doubt who the leader and the favourite is”.

On why Van der Poel is seemingly a step above the rest of the field in cyclocross at the moment and how the team plans to support him at the World Championships, Ronhaar said “it’s very simple. He is 10% better than us. We can help each other a bit at the start, but as long as Mathieu is in shape, he has to do his own thing. We can't do much then”.

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