Mathieu van der Poel inserted a final practice today for Saturday’s Strade Bianche. Just like in Kuurne, he showed himself several times.
In the final, Van der Poel and challenger Florian Sénéchal pulled through firmly on the last cobblestone section. The Quick-Step man would have liked to spin around with the leader of Alpecin-Fenix, but that was not an option. His right brake and shift lever was hanging loose from his handlebars.
In this way, Van der Poel could hardly use any force. With his hands on the wheel – which is in principle forbidden in a month’s time – he took the swing out of the attack to allow his teammates to pass.
Tim Merlier understood that and declined with the victory. “Mathieu wanted to try something else, but he had a broken steering wheel”, the former Belgian champion explained afterwards.
“” He said, “I’m heading for a sprint.” And Jasper (Philipsen, ed.) Told me that he was no longer feeling well. I’m glad I was able to finish it. “