“I took my destiny into my own hands”

After his solo success on Milan-Sanremo, Mathieu van der Poel assured to have had very good feelings throughout the day and had a word for his grandfather Raymond Poulidor, winner of the “Primavera” there is 62 years old.

Mathieu van der Poel took his chance. While the UAE Team Emirates team blasted the 2023 edition of Milan-Sanremo on the slopes of Poggio to launch Tadej Pogacar, the leader of the Alpecin-Deceuninck formation was able to respond to the Slovenian and flew to success in lonely. At the end of the race, the Dutchman told the press that he had “really good legs” and that he had good feelings from the ascent of the penultimate difficulty of the course, the Cipressa, ” which was easier than expected thanks to the wind,” he added.

“When Tadej Pogacar attacked in the Poggio, I was good. In recent years, I had been too defensive in this last climbconfided Mathieu van der Poel in remarks collected by theAFP. With experience, I knew that I had to take the risk to go there. Today, I took my destiny into my own hands. » Third last year, the rider of the Alpecin-Deceuninck team admitted that he did not like the « Primavera ». After this success, he clarified his thinking. ” I liked the last 100 km. The problem is the 200 kilometers before, confided Mathieu van der Poel. It is an easy race to finish but very difficult to win. Just look at the Top 5 today. Many different profiles can apply here. »

Van der Poel: “I did the descent at 80%”

If he attacked in the climb of Poggio, his descent was not obvious. While Matej Mohoric had taken all the risks last year to secure victory, Mathieu van der Poel said he had not given everything on the slope. ” I made the descent at 80%, I didn’t want to take too many risks. If I had fallen, I wouldn’t have forgiven myself, told the Dutchman to the press. I couldn’t hear anything in the headset, I didn’t know the gaps, and that was good. I did my descent at my own pace and once down I gave it my all until the finish. »

A success in the first Monument of the season which echoes that of his grandfather Raymond Poulidor in 1961 and which fills the leader of the Alpecin-Deceuninck team with pride. ” I heard that Milan-Sanremo was the only Monument he won, confided Mathieu van der Poel on this subject. It’s nice to win the same. This race does not offer many opportunities. Great champions have never won here. I’m proud to have done it. Little in sight during Tirreno-Adriatico, the Dutchman assured that he had not hidden on this occasion. “I’m someone who needs to suffer first,” he explained. Tirreno was perfect preparation for Sanremo. And here I was at my best. »