Van der Poel in tears after ‘biggest disappointment’ of his career

Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel was in tears after finishing second to rival Wout van Aert at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Luxembourg.

The 22-year-old Dutchmanhad been dominating the race until a puncture late in the race left him unable to respond to van Aert’s acceleration.

“This is the biggest disappointment since I started cycling,” said Van der Poel. ““I could not defend my chances here. I had four punctures and the last time it was too much. The first three punctures I could handle.”

“When I was on the wheel of Wout I had extra confidence, but the last puncture came at the wrong time, too far from the pit and I lost too much time.

“It also cost me energy. I tried to come back, you never know if Wout will have bad luck, but I knew I was racing for a second place and silver. I am very disappointed.”

However, Van der Poel does not think the race was decided by tire choices: “It’s not because other riders make a certain choice. I stuck to my own plan and continued the whole year on those tires. I’m not going to suddenly race with different tires at the World Championship.”


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