Gentleman does so Wout van Aert. “Of course this gives confidence,” he told the written press after his Boom victory. But I don’t think these are the true proportions. This was a perfect course for me. And when my “big friend” comes back, I’ll be a few percent better anyway.”
Deep mud, water mist, lots of mills. While reconnaissance, we actually saw Van Aert wandering in the swampy meadows of the recreation area of De Schury, basking inside. In his earlier interviews, he kept to himself. He said he was curious where it might end. He did not want to express great ambitions. “If logic is respected…”
“I was very nervous,” he admitted after his victory. “Not even a bad sign, actually. More like an affirmation I felt. Let’s see where I stood. But for things to go smoothly.. No, I wasn’t expecting that at all.”
How do you explain it yourself?
“We mustn’t hide the fact that this course is for me. Lots of lanes running, slow. I had nothing to complain about. I also easily survived the fight at first. I think I’m also better prepared than I’ve been in years past. Two years ago I came back from Injury. Last winter, the break was shorter – due to the changing classics – and I’m back on the field with less preparation. Now I’m more prepared.”
In one lap your progress increased from 15 to 55 seconds. punishment.
“However, I had no plan. I started from the third grade, but was able to climb up quickly. Everything went well. It was a pick to pick up speed to see who was following. Turns out that was only Toon Aerts. However, when he fell, I found myself alone, and I found my own pace, and in fact the gap widened quickly. But I think they soon started looking at each other behind me. I also noticed that they had been together for a long time.”
It slowed down a bit last quarter. consciously?
“It got more and more difficult as the game went on. It was suddenly a long effort. Perhaps that was the reason for going down that hard landing. Fortunately, I had the luxury of having a big gap so that I could continue riding at my own pace.”
You’ve said before that you fear the art lanes. Except for that fall, I hardly made any mistakes.
“Right. Technically it has gone surprisingly well. However, I’ve only been doing some specific all-out training in the last week. Before that I was just training on the road.”
Should this at least give you a boost?
“Obviously a boost to my mind. Attractive! Certainly because all the good Belgians were initially here. I can go to the next matches with confidence. On the other hand, I would like to repeat: given the nature of the course, I don’t think these are the true proportions. This was not time interval.
When asked what your level was beforehand, I joked: I’m at 91 percent. What will that give you when you are one hundred percent?
“Haha. A 100 percent might be needed if that’s the case my big friend You will join. “
Glad there is still an audience to cross? It has been a bit bleak this week.
“Great comfort. I’ve already seen it happen, for the second year in a row without an audience. I miss the fans. It will still be visible for now that the big crowds will stay away, but if everyone uses common sense and respects the rules, it should be possible. We hope that the measures will not be tightened anymore.”
Next weekend Essen is on Saturday, Val di Sol on Sunday. In the snow…
“It’s been a long time since I biked on snow or ice. I really remember I didn’t master it when I was young. I wonder what that would bring there. Anyway, I am looking forward to it.”
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