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Mathieu van der Poel – ‘Stupid’ attacks are fun, but they might have cost me wins

Mathieu van der Poel - 'Stupid' attacks are fun, but they might have cost me wins

Mathieu van der Poel has acknowledged that he has had to change his racing style, suggesting that spectacular long-range efforts like his attack at last…

Thursday, Apr 21

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Mathieu van der Poel has acknowledged that he has had to change his racing style, suggesting that spectacular long-range efforts like his attack at last year’s Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne might be a thing of the past.

The Dutchman’s approach was more measured this spring, most notably at the Tour of Flanders, where he withstood Tadej Pogačar’s onslaught on the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg before outfoxing him in the sprint .

"It is more and more about the palmarès,” Van der Poel told Sporza . “I realise more and more that those ‘stupid’ attacks, like that long solo last year in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, are fun, but they might cost me the win.

“If I had ridden smart, I might have won that race. But my way of racing has also brought me a lot. I probably wouldn’t have won other races if I had been smart. But the level is so high now that it’s almost impossible to race stupid. That gets punished."

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A nagging back injury meant that Van der Poel delayed the start of his road season until Milan-San Remo , but he was immediately up to speed, placing third on the Via Roma and then winning a stage of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali.

He warmed up for the Tour of Flanders by winning a breathless edition of Dwars door […]

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