Milan-San Remo 2021 - 'I gambled wrong' - Wout van Aert admits to errors as Jasper Stuyen wins
Jumbo-Visma rider Wout van Aert could only manage a third-placed finish at Milan-San Remo on Saturday afternoon, with Belgium's Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) the winner. Caleb Ewan challenged Stuyven for victory but ended up second overall, with Mathieu van der Poel finishing up in fifth place despite starting as favourite.
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“Straight at the bottom, Jasper went on the attack. It was a really good move and then afterwards it was a bit hard for me to chase because I didn’t want to waste my chances in the sprint.
“Of course a lot of guys were looking at me but I just came up short. In the end, Caleb was a bit faster than me in the sprint from our group. It’s always a difficult final few kilometers but today I gambled wrong.
"I had a good sprint after a hard race but it was difficult to take the right decisions in the end. Nevertheless, we have a nice winner and we have to be satisfied with third place.”
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Alpecin-Fenix rider Mathieu van der Poel was the favourite going into the race, but he could only manage a fifth-placed finish. He was unable to make a move to keep up with Stuyven when he timed his late attack.
“I was where I was supposed to be on the Poggio,” Van der Poel said.
“I could follow the attacks of Julian (Alaphilippe) and Wout there. That was good but the attacks were a bit too late, I think, and on the easiest part of the Poggio. Then it was quite a big group, when you come down there are guys from the second group who are going to attack with a lot of speed from behind and it’s very difficult to react.
“Like everyone says, it’s a very difficult race to win. It’s not easy to make a gap on the Poggio because the speed is so high there that it’s just too difficult to really go away alone. Then it becomes technical in the end.”
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