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"I think there is still some margin for improvement. We have to wait for the really tough races, but my condition is good."

Photo: UCI






09.10.2016 @ 12:04 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mathieu van der Poel has made it two from two since his comeback: after his win in Gieten last week, the Dutch champion was also the best in Meulebeke. In the final lap, he dropped his teammate Wietse Bosmans. Eli Iserbyt took the final spot on the podium. World champion Wout van Aert was sick this week and did not come into play for the win.


Wout van Aert struggled with digestive problems last week and was at the start in Meulebeke with doubts. While his great rival Mathieu van der Poel shot out of the starting blocks as a rocket, the world champion rode in the background. He would never be in the mix and was eventually 9th.


Van der Poel did not care. The Dutchman moved to the front and got a gap but in the second lap he made a mistake in a corner. Iserbyt and Jim Aernouts then went on the attack, but Van der Poel got back together with Bosmans and Michael Vanthourenhout.


Just before the halfway point, Van der Poel and Bosmans dropped their companions. The two teammates rode further away lap after lap and could fight it out among themselves. In the last lap, Bosmans faded on a climb and Van der Poel could race to victory.


At the finish, Van der Poel had time to applaud Bosmans who is back at the highest level after a tough period.


Behind them, Eli Iserbyt dropped Vincent Baestaens and the other chasers. The U23 world champion took third.


Wout van Aert had a difficult afternoon. 


"I had some trouble this week with disease," he told Sporza. "It was mentally difficult to be here. There is something to work on.


"After two laps I was in a position from where I could not win. You have to be fresh and aggressive at the start and today I was not.


"After the reconnaissance I had some problems with my stomach, but I do not use it as an excuse. I did not feel bad, but mentally I was not on top. I hope to soon find the focus again.”


Mathieu van der Poel made it two from two after his comeback. 


"In recent months, I have trained very hard, but I had not expected this," he says.


"I think there is still some margin for improvement. We have to wait for the really tough races, but my condition is good."


Van der Poels teammate Wietse Bosmans was second after a tough period. 


"I'm very happy for him," says Van der Poel. "I knew he had it in him. To let him win? That went through my mind, but I want to win myself in the beginning of the season. I think he understands that."


Wietse Bosmans, who has been set back by Lyme disease for two years, was more than satisfied with his second place. 


"There was a fair amount of competition," he says. "I had a top ten in mind. I would have signed in advance for second place.


"I hope that I can forget two black years and can show the best of myself. I have good blood values again and everything is under control. I have not felt so fresh for a few years. Then I canonly expect great things.


"I'm at a good level, but I feel my race rhythm is wrong. That is still missing. I think I can only grow in the coming months."



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