Tolhoek tenth in opening stage Ruta del Sol
Antwan Tolhoek has finished tenth in the first stage of the Ruta del Sol. The 15...
Wout van Aert has finished sixth in the Tour of Flanders. The winner of Ghent-Wevelgem could not follow Mathieu van der Poel and Kasper Asgreen on the last time on the Oude Kwaremont and had to settle for a ‘place of honour’.
A breakaway group were allowed to develop a lead fairly quickly from the start in Antwerp and on behalf of Team Jumbo-Visma Edoardo Affini kept the escapees under control. Van Aert was invariably up front and the team was quite active in the front line in the middle of ‘Vlaanderens Mooiste’. In the final Van Aert was able to counter the attacks of the favourites several times, but on the final climb of the Oude Kwaremont he had to leave a gap. Van der Poel and Asgreen then raced to the Paterberg, where Van Aert could not close the gap.
In the twelve remaining kilometres to Oudenaarde the Fleming tried to return, but he ended up in the chasing group. In a sprint for the places of honour, the 2020 number two eventually squeezed out a sixth place finish.
"The legs were not there."
“I wasn’t good enough to win”, Van Aert said. “From the second climb of the Oude Kwaremont I already noticed that I no longer had any power to attack anymore. I was glad that I was actually still in the right place at that point. In the end it was just gone. On the third and final time up the Oude Kwaremont, it wasn’t easy anymore. The legs were not there. Especially on the Paterberg, it was a struggle to get to the top.”
“Still, I didn’t foul up”, he continued. “I tried to get everything out of it, but obviously I had hoped for something more. In the coming week I’m going to rest to appear at the start of the Brabantse Pijl and the Amstel Gold Race with good form. The Ronde was of course the highlight of the spring, so this has to sink in first.”