Wout van Aert: “It was a big surprise to feel this good on the race”

April 17 th 2022 - 18:38

I am not disappointed to be the runner-up because it was a big surprise to feel this good on the race. In the final, Stefan [Küng] and I could drop the other favourites and catch most of the people up the road… yet Dylan [van Baarle] kept putting time into us, so I guess he was the strongest today. I’m very happy to be on the podium.

After the race it is always easy to regret things, but it’s hard to choose the best moment to attack, to pick the right wheel. Also, the mechanicals issues I had meant I spent a bit more energy than expected. Besides that, I would say everything went alright for me today. I was not well positioned when the peloton split, but some of my teammates were – so we didn’t have to work neither at the front nor at the back, and I could remain calm at the back. When we took on the cobbles, I punctured and damaged my wheel. It took half an hour of chaos to chase back. As for the final part of the race, I missed Christophe [Laporte] there – he had some bad luck and was out of contention, and it’s a shame because we would have had more options to play had he been there in the end.

Everything felt a bit different coming into the race. But, once in the race, it all felt normal – and I quickly got back to my old habits. I focused on how to win this race and stay out of trouble, trying to find the right moments. It was easy to turn myself into the normal way of thinking.

It was a collective decision for me to race here – the team, the staff, the team’s doctor, my own doctor, my trainer, and myself. It was about how I felt training. I missed one week of training and, when I resumed, I felt quite tired after every ride. But it got better and that’s why I decided to enter on the last minute.

17/04/2022 - Paris Roubaix - Wout VAN AERT (JUMBO - VISMA)
17/04/2022 - Paris Roubaix - Wout VAN AERT (JUMBO - VISMA) © A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

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