Mathieu Van der Poel: “One of my best days ever”
April 9 th 2023 - 17:35
It’s incredible how we rode as a team today, with Jasper finishing 2nd. It’s impossible to do better than this. A 1-2 in Roubaix might never happen again to us, so we have to enjoy it to the fullest.
I’ve done my best Classics campaign ever. This is the last race [of my Classics campaign], and to finish it off like this is a dream. I’ve changed some things in my training and my program, and I feel I have improved. I asked myself to do less races in order to be at my 100% in every race I did. What I did in Flanders, and today, I couldn’t do in the previous years – so I’m definitely stronger now.
I think I had one of my best days ever on the bike. I felt really strong and tried to do a couple of early attacks, but it was hard to drop the other guys. On the Carrefour de l’Arbre, following Degenkolb’s crash and Van Aert’s flat tire, I found myself alone in the lead and rode as hard as I could to the finish line.
At first, I didn’t know he [Van Aert] had punctured. But, when I passed him, his pace was low and I understood he had a problem. It is unfortunate, because we could have gone together to the finish line and the race could have been different. Anyway, misfortune is a part of racing. You need good legs and good luck to win Paris-Roubaix.
For sure I love Paris-Roubaix today. There was no breakaway and we raced full-on, like juniors, from start to finish. I enjoyed riding like that, even if it is strange. This way of racing suits me – the harder the race, the better for me.