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"I had the idea to keep the lead at around ten seconds, but it proved more difficult than expected. They rode really fast behind me. I used more energy more than yesterday when I still had it a bit easier."

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MATHIEU VAN DER POEL

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WOUT VAN AERT

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27.11.2016 @ 17:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mathieu van der Poel has taken his second win of the weekend with a victory in the Flandriencross. The Dutchman proved to be stronger than the rest during the whole race and arrived solo at the finish. Wout van Aert had to be content with second place. Laurens Sweeck finished third.

 

We have gathered a few reactions.

 

Van der Poel: It was more difficult than expected

"It was still more difficult than expected," Mathieu van der Poel told Het Nieuwsblad after his fourth consecutive win, his second this weekend. "I was not the plan to be alone in the lead so early.”

 

Van der Poel took the lead in the second lap. "Well, a lot of riders were still together at the front," he explained. "I do not like to ride in a big group. So I accelerated and I could keep the advantage..”

 

He never had more than ten seconds on the duo Van Aert-Sweeck. "I had the idea to keep the lead at around ten seconds, but it proved more difficult than expected. They rode really fast behind me. I used more energy more than yesterday when I still had it a bit easier. The race in Zeven suited me better.”

 

"Normally I am good at defending a small lead under pressure, but I was happy when I crossed the line because I could not make any mistake. It is a difficult circuit and I am glad that I could get my first win here in the pro ranks. I'm in a good flow and hope to maintain it for a while. I have always said that I needed two months to be on top after my injury. Well, now that time has come."

 

Van Aert: I do not panic yet

Wout van Aert does not panic after the Flandriencross in Hamme where he was beaten by Mathieu van der Poel for the fourth time in a row. He has not won a race since the Koppenbergcross on November 1. "Mathieu is currently just better," he admitted, "but I can also add a few more percent. I do not panic. I've also been many victories. "

 

"Early on, I decided to set my own pace," Van Aert told Het Nieuwsblad. "I did my own race as I like to do. Mathieu came to the front and when he accelerated, I was not in a good position and honestly, it was also a bit too fast for me.”

 

Together with Laurens Sweeck, Van Aert tried to close the gap, but he did not succeed. "We worked well together. That's better than to ride against each other and we both end up on the podium. The pace was very fast. It was such a race that it is very fast and that suits me less. The lead seemed surmountable. We got closer but never reached his wheel. He is good at defending such a gap and I knew that we rode for second place.”

 

"With two laps to go we got a little closer and we believed a bit in it again but yes, he had to make a mistake. We continued to ride and I was finally second. I hope to have a battle with Mathieu again next week in Francorchamps. For the moment, he is that little bit stronger, but I do not panic. It seems like I haven’t won for a long time but in the end it is not that many race. I won on the Koppenberg. Since then he has been the best but I can still add a few percent. On Monday, I will go to Spain for a training camp with the team. I will train well, rest and ride on Saturday in Francorchamps. "

 

Sweeck: We put van der Poel under pressure

Laurens Sweeck was once again the best of the rest behind the two stars.

 

"I tried to get a fast start but Mathieu quickly joined me and immediately got a gap of 10 seconds,” he told Sporza. “I think that we kept the gap at that mark for the entire race. We gained two, three seconds but we could not close the gap. As long as you are at 10 seconds, you still put him under pressure and he may make some mistakes.”

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