Wout van Aert has won the Exact Cross in Essen. On his return to the sport, the 29-year-old rider of Team Jumbo-Visma rode to victory in a convincing way on a challenging course. Jens Adams and Thijs Aerts completed the podium.
The riders were presented with a puddle of mud in Essen. Van Aert, who had taken a wait-and-see approach at the start, stayed close to the three leaders for several laps. At the halfway point, the Belgian decided to increase the pace. In no time, he had a safe lead and was riding solo towards his fifth professional win in Essen.
"I needed the first few laps to assess my form and assess the competition”, Van Aert said. "Every lap, the conditions got harder and harder, and halfway through the race, I noticed I was the best in the running sectors. Then, I found my rhythm, which allowed me to build up a lead. I struggled a bit at the end, but that is not unusual on a course like this. It’s always good to start here. I am happy that I was able to please the crowd. "The feeling was better than I had hoped"
Wout van Aert
"The feeling today was better than I had hoped”, he continued. "It was difficult to predict how I would do here. This winter, I am deliberately taking a calmer approach than in previous years. It’s good not to put too much pressure on myself during the winter. Above all, I want to have […]