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"Not much more: a maximum of 10 to 15 percent. I feel very good. I have a good acceleration, I just cannot keep it up for so long..."

CYCLO-CROSS

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MATHIEU VAN DER POEL

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27.12.2015 @ 21:45 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mathieu van der Poel confirmed his status as the strongest rider in the cyclo-cross peloton at the moment when he made it three in a row at the Superprestige race in Gieten. After an exciting three-rider battle, he beat Kevin Pauwels and Lars van der Haar in the sprint while Wout van Aert was taken out of contention by a mechanical and had to fight his way back to claim 10th which was enough to defend the overall lead.

 

"I never expected this," the young world champion told Sporza. "I'm obviously very pleased. The difference is small. I had to go enormously deep. I won on character.

 

"I always took the initiative when no one else did. Tactically, I didn't make many mistakes. In the last lap I wanted to be in the lead everywhere."

 

Thanks to an jmpressive braking maneure movement in the mud, van der Poel took the victory. 

 

“That was on the limit, but I had to be in front there. It showed when I got stuck in the mud afterwards. If I hadn't been in front, I would never have gotten the victory. That brake manoeuvre wouldn’t have been possible without disc brakes. Otherwise I would’ve landed in the fencing.

 

"Kevin was really very strong today . In the past he has come from even further back here. I am very happy to be win again here.

 

"That jump over that bridge (laughs), that's a sign that I feel good but I only did it in the first lap. I had planned to be good in the Christmas season. An attack not always works in this race, they always come back."

 

How far is the Dutchman from reaching his top level? "Not much more: a maximum of 10 to 15 percent. I feel very good. I have a good acceleration, I just cannot keep it up for so long..."

 

In a month, Van der Poel will try to defend his world title. Will he be at 100 percent? "That's the idea. The Worlds was the only thing that could save my season, but if I can win a few races, I can be very satisfied."

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