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"Until last year, everyone thought it was fantastic that I rode for the win. We could accept second place. Now, I'm a loser from the moment I finish second. But I have to learn to live with it, right? I have no...

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WOUT VAN AERT

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09.12.2016 @ 11:57 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

To be Belgian champion and world champion, leader of the World Cup and the DVV Trofee is not necessarily enough to avoid criticism. Wout Van Aert has had bitter experience during a complicated month of November which saw him win just a single race at the Koppenbergcross. He broke the drought with a Superprestige victory at Spa-Francorchamps last Saturday and the Crelan-Vastgoedservice leader has never really questioned himself. Others have done that for him. 

 

"I have a good feeling about this November,” he told Veldritkrant.be. “Okay, there were four second places. And apparently this is not enough for a world champion ... and then the World Cup in Koksijde was canceled during this period. If I had won there, the perception of this month could have been completely different. ”

 

It must be said, however, that Van Aert has often seemed overshadowed by his great rival, Mathieu van der Poel, in his recent races. And while the Dutchman got lots of praise, there were also some doubts about the Belgian. 

 

"There are times when criticism is more easily bearable than it is at other times,” he added. “This is the first season where I sometimes read negative things about me. It's quite usual. Until last year, everyone thought it was fantastic that I rode for the win. We could accept second place. Now, I'm a loser from the moment I finish second. But I have to learn to live with it, right? I have no choice.”

 

Determined to regain the upper hand in his duel with Mathieu van der Poel (currently, the standing is 9 wins for van der Poel compared to 4 for Van Aert in their direct confrontations this season), Van Aert has been doing a new training camp in Spain this week. He will return to Belgium for the races in Essen and Overijse this weekend and those in Antwerp and Namur next week before starting a sries of five races in eight days during the holiday season.

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