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"I wanted to close that gap as quickly as possible and it worked. It gave me confidence. When I rejoined Wout, I knew I was the strongest in the race.”










26.11.2016 @ 18:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mathieu Van der Poel has won the fourth round of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup. The Dutchman had a very bad start in the German city of Zeven, but after a fast chase, he proved to be stronger than Wout van Aert. Kevin Pauwels finished third.


We have gathered a few reactions.


Van der Poel: I knew I was the strongest

Mathieu Van der Poel took his fourth victory in a row. "I have felt good for a few weeks," the leader of Beobank-Corendon told Het Nieuwsblad. "I hope I can maintain this form for a long time and that I can add a few percent for the Worlds in Luxembourg."


Last week, Van der Poel announced his disappointment after the cancellation of the World Cup in Koksijde and then did a long training ride of 207.8 kilometers from the coast to his home in Kapellen. Today he showed his superb form in Zeven .However, he had a very bad start. "I was surprised because the light changd to green so quickly. Then I was a bit behind. In itself that was not so bad but later I broke a few spokes in my wheel in the sand. I could not ride my smallest gear. I lost valuable time and it took a long time before I could change bike.”


Once that was done, there was nothing that could stop the Dutchman who closed the time gap of 20 seconds to leader Van Aert. "I wanted to close that gap as quickly as possible and it worked. It gave me confidence. When I rejoined Wout, I knew I was the strongest in the race.”


Van der Poel didn’t need much time to recover and he soon managed to get rid of the world champion. "I chose to go on the counter-attack directly and immediately had a big gap. That was fun. Whether this is my best shape ever? That's hard to say, but for a few weeks I have felt that I'm really good. The training week in Spain worked as I wanted and I felt I was ready for Koksijde, but the race was canceled. Then I did another long training ride and I took it easy the rest of the week to get ready for this weekend. In training I felt the good form. I hope I can maintain this condition until the end of the year. It is my goal to remain ahead until we go on a training camp in the build-up to the Worlds. I want to try to add a few percent. In this period it is especially important not to get sick, to rest enough and get to the start of the races as fresh as possible.”


Van Aert admits defeat: I simply can’t follow him

Wout van Aert is currently no match for the Mathieu van der Poel. For the third time in a row, the Crelan-Vastgoeservice rider had to succumb to the Dutchman. "I simply cannot follow him," the 22-year-old had to admit after the World Cup in Zeven


After a poor start and bad luck for Van der Poel, Van Aert was the lone leader but the Dutchman soon caught him and left him behind. "I felt it immediately when he joined me," Van Aert told Het Nieuwsblad. "He took three turns and I knew what would happen. It seems like he rides in another league. I simply cannot follow him. He is especially good on such a fast course, with that many technical turns. He always rides away from me.


Van Aert does not want to not accept the supremacy of the Dutchman, but hopes for be true cross weather. "I try not to hang with the head and am glad that I made it difficult for him in the first half of the race, but I hope to be able to offer a bit more resistance in the coming weeks. On Sunday in Hamme, we will have another fast race. It just has to rain again, with real winter weather and races in deep mud. I like that more and then I'll be more visible. It may happen that I will get beaten anyway but such races, really difficult ones, should still suit me better. "


Pauwels: There is nothing to do against van der Poel

With his second place in Zeven, Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games) moved up to second place in the World Cup standings. It is a boost for the Belgian, who is eager to get the first win of the season even though he realizes that there is little to do against the supremacy of Mathieu van der Poel.


"In the beginning, Mathieu was behind me," Pauwels told Het Nieuwsblad, "but he caught us very quickly. He rode past us and was gone immediately. With the way he rides at the moment, there is little we can do against him. I had a super day here and he still wins. That says enough."


Pauwels appears gradually to get back on the right track with a fourth podium this season after a second place in the World Cup in Iowa, Koppenbergcross and the Jaarmarktcross in Niel."I was strong, but my start was not good enough. In the beginning, it was hard to move up. It was a long race to catch up and I did a good race. When I caught Tom [Meeusen], I felt that I was better and I rode to a third place. I have to be happy with that. "



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