World cyclo-cross champion Wout van Aert proved yet again he can compete in major road races at the European Championships, even though he was disappointed to take the bronze medal behind title winner Matteo Trentin (Italy) and cyclo-cross rival Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands), after the rain-soaked 230km race in Glasgow.
Van Aert was part of the decisive move that formed in the final 50km of racing but was unable to come around Trentin in the sprint. “I’m really disappointed. I really thought that I could win right up to a few metres before the finish,” van Aert told Het Nieuwsblad soon after the race.
“I didn’t manage to get past him and that’s why I’m disappointed. A medal is nice but I’m still find it a disappointment.”
Van Aert shared leadership of the Belgian team with Greg van Avermaet and Jasper Stuyven. He was to go with the attacks in the finale after Belgian worked to make their rivals suffer, while van Avermaet waited for the final two laps.
When Nico Denz of Germany kicked off the finale of the race with 50km to go, van Aert made sure he was there, with teammate Xandro Meurisse giving vital support.
“We didn’t have our fastest riders in the team and so we had to take on the race. None of the sprinters were there in the finale and so our tactics were right,” van Aert argued.
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