Van der Poel completed another one of his concerts, this time in a great career as Paris Roubaix
He was a favorite and completed a regular show for him. Mathieu van der Poel beat Paris Roubaix with an impressive display of power, attacking mentality and strength. The Dutchman reached the finish line alone after taking charge of selecting the race at different key moments of the race.
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The Dutchman set the tone in key moments
Mathieu van der Poel completed a practically perfect Paris Roubaix. In sensational form and with no relevant damage, something his main rival, Wout van Aert, cannot say. The Belgian has adopted a more conservative stance, racing from start to finish knowing he could play his sprint card if he could hold onto the wheel from Mathieu van der Poel.
A puncture by Van Aert ended the duel between the two
But the final duel between the two was resolved by a scoop. On the last selective cobbled section of the race, Van Aert punctured his rear wheel when riding in Van der Poel’s wake and they had already taken down the rest of their rivals. It was the moment when Van der Poel was left alone in the lead and faced his individual time trial to win his first Paris Roubaix.
As a curiosity, both the Alpecin Deceuninck and the Jumbo Visma use the same brand of tires.
As data, this was the fastest Paris Roubaix in history with an average of 46.8 km/h for the winner.
Van der Poel is having its best classics season by far
Van der Poel completes a series of exceptional results with victory at Milan Sanremo, second place at the Tour des Flandres and now victory at Paris Roubaix.
Van Aert was unable to win the sprint for second place from Philipsen, Van der Poel’s teammate, who pulled off an incredible one-two for Alpecin Deceuninck.
“One of the best days of my life on a bike”
«I knew I had a problem, but not that it was a puncture. It’s a shame because we would have made it to the end together.”
At the finish line, Mathieu van der Poel explained that «I had one of the best days of my life on a bike.» in allusion to the physical strength he demonstrated throughout the race. He also explained the situation with Van Aert: «I didn’t notice it at first, but when I overtook him I was going very slowly. I knew I had a problem, but not that it was a puncture. It’s a shame because we would have made it to the end together. But it’s part of the race. You need luck and good legs, and I had both today.»
Mathieu van der Poel had stated in previous weeks that his preparation for the classic campaign with cyclocross in the middle was not the best way to get in shape for this block of races, although the results say otherwise.
Now he will face a rest phase. It is worth remembering that, although he has expressed his intention to be at the Paris 2024 Olympics in MTB, there are no plans for him to return to XCO competitions. His last MTB race was his fiasco at the Tokyo Olympics.