“If van der Poel reaches his normal level, everyone has no chance" - Lars van der Haar content to battle for second at Cyclocross World Championships

Twice a Cyclocross World Championship runner-up, Lars van der Haar seems resigned already that silver will again be the best he can hope for in 2024 in Tabor.

“I just hope that I can ride a free race and do my thing. I'm going there to basically finish second and otherwise to put myself in a position to catch a mistake from Mathieu van der Poel," the Baloise - Trek Lions star explains to Wielerflits. "I will have to be satisfied with that after the race. In any case, I like to come to Tábor, there is a very nice circuit. I like those natural courses.”

"Besides Mathieu, there are six men who could be on the podium," van der Haar assesses, naming Pim Ronhaar, Joris Nieuwenhuis, Michael Vanthourenhout, Thibau Nys, Eli Iserbyt and himself. "To take silver I have to compete with a whole host of riders who may have ridden slightly better than myself in the past period. That's not easy. I'm really going to need a super day. But that applies to everyone due to the small differences. I hold on to that.”

As mentioned, van der Haar has twice been a World Championship runner-up in 2016 and 2022 and last year finished just off the podium in 4th. “If van der Poel is at his normal level, such as in his first race in Herentals, then no one has a chance. Only bad luck or an off day can change that," he insists however. "If Mathieu rides fast enough, we can all do our thing behind it. Of course, I will let the Belgians ride first, I will not bring him back. But if the opportunity presents itself, I want to strike like I did in 2015.”

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