Wout van Aert at Milan-San Remo.

Van Aert: ‘Some may come here to train, but I came here to win’

Wout van Aert suggests that some of his rivals at Milan-San Remo were content to race for the podium rather than the win.

Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.

Jump To Comments

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) was a visible presence on the Poggio at Milan-San Remo on Saturday, chasing down repeated attacks by Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), but neither pre-race favorite ended up crossing the line first at the end of the race. Instead, it was Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) who took the victory, attacking on the descent and holding on for the win.

Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) rounded out the podium for the first Monument of the season.

Van Aert appeared to be frustrated with the way things played out in the end, pointing out that he was not focusing on the benefits of getting in a long day on the bike when there was no big result to show for his efforts.

“Some may come here to train, but I came here to win,” Van Aert said.

Van Aert spent no shortage of time on the final climb of the race chasing down Pogačar, but he said afterward that he had burned too many matches in the process. Although the Belgian said he “knew” that Mohorič “wanted to try something on the descent,” that didn’t make it easy to do anything about it.

“There is still disappointment,” Van Aert said. “I think I spent too much energy with Pogačar’s attacks. In the descent when Mohorič passed, I quickly knew that it was important to be careful. When he has 10 meters you know it is dangerous. Then the race played out as usual.”

In Van Aert’s opinion, over the ensuing kilometers, the rest of the reduced chase group did not do enough collaborating to bring back Mohorič’s move. Assessing the finale, Van Aert lamented the lack of cohesion in the pursuit, suggesting that not everyone involved was interested in battling for the victory.

“I raced to win, Mathieu [van der Poel] too. But others quickly start thinking about the podium,” he said. “That is their right, but I prefer to go down fighting.”

With Saturday in the books, Van Aert will look ahead to the next big goals on his Classics calendar. He is expected to make his next start on Friday at the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, with Gent-Wevelgem to follow ahead of the Tour of Flanders.

Editors' Picks