Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) was angry with Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) for his attitude in the final at Gand-Wevelgem (WorldTour) on Sunday. “He preferred to see me lose rather than win himself”, railed the vice-world champion.
Four men took advantage of their rivalry to battle for victory in the sprint, ultimately going to Dane Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo).
After setting a high pace in the last kilometers, Wout van Aert reacted to each attack, except the last one two miles from the finish. Van der Poel did not want to collaborate to come back to the four fugitives. “He surely forgets that I already have a lot of victories under my belt and that I was not going to plug every hole either,” said Wout van Aert. “I did it several times, and each time he jumped in my wheel. He probably thought I had a chance in the sprint, but in the end, we both have nothing ”.
Already rivals in the plowed cyclocross, the duel between the two men continues on the road. “It’s a bit low to say that I drove so that he lost,” reacted the Dutchman. “I rode hard, I also blocked a few times. But at one point, I couldn’t stand behind Pedersen’s group. It was a bit of a lottery. “
Wout van Aert finished 8th ahead of van der Poel 9th, before a probable rematch in the Tour of Flanders next Sunday.