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"Therefore I have made it a real goal. In the other series, I do not have much chance of overall victory and I would still love to win at least one classification. Five out of five in Francorchamps would be a step in the righ...




02.12.2016 @ 18:07 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

On Saturday, the fifth round of the Superprestige series will be held on the F1 circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. The previous four races have been won by Mathieu van der Poel who is keeping an impressive streak of victories. Last year Wout van Aert won on the F1 circuit and tomorrow he will undoubtedly want to get rid of the many second places of recent weeks.


Wout van Aert last won a race at the Koppenbergcross on November 1. He is not panicking yet.


"Mathieu is currently a bit better," he said after the Flandriencross last Sunday. "These are small differences, but I look forward to the really difficult races where I hope to make my mark."


This week Van Aert has trained in Spain with his team-Crelan Vastgoedservice. On Friday, he returned to Belgium, ready for anothe duel with Van der Poel.


Van Aert delivered a show last year on the F1 circuit while Mathieu van der Poel had a total off day. He was twelfth, more than three minutes behind the winner. 


"I was really not good," the leader of the Hansgrohe Superprestige tells Het Nieuwsblad. "It was a bad day like the one I had on the Koppenberg this year. There was nothing in the legs and on such a difficult course you are quickly out of the top ten. This year I want to take revenge. The course might suit Wout a bit more but I'm ready to win on such a heavy circuit. Gavere is also a climbing race and there I have proved that I am good."


This season Van der Poel has won nine of the 13 races he has done. In the Hansgrohe Superprestige, he has made it four from four. His last defeat in the series dates back to Spa-Francorchamps last year.


"This series suits me," laughs Van der Poel. "Therefore I have made it a real goal. In the other series, I do not have much chance of overall victory and I would still love to win at least one classification. Five out of five in Francorchamps would be a step in the right direction.”


The circuit of the Superprestige in Francorchamps, a race which is held only for the third time, remains almost identical: a heavy, compact and attractive route for the spectators. Compared to last year, there is one double pit in the paddock. The last 400 meters are changed slightly. While the riders had to go up a bridge at the previous edition, they are now facing a technical loop with a running section. The last hundred meters are paved. If they are two or more at the end of the race, there will be an exciting sprint to the finish. The finish is still on the famous Raidillon, a climb with gradients of up to 17 percent.



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