SYDNEY (VG) Alexander Kristoff could hardly believe what he was told: Favorite Mathieu van der Poel was arrested before his joint start at WC Cycling, and must appear in court next week. Remco Evenepoel (22) became world champion.
Øystein David Johansen, VG
Simon Zetlitz Nessler, VG
Andreas Hellenes, VG
Camilla Vesteng, VG
In solitary glory, the 22-year-old Belgian rolled across the finish line with a strong margin to the next player. He won by 2 minutes and 21 seconds. It was the biggest margin of victory in a joint start in the men’s class since 1968 at Evenepoel.
Silver went to Christophe Laporte and bronze to Michael Matthews.
– After a long season, it’s great to finish like this. I’m so excited, said the winner on broadcast TV 2 after cycling for six hours and 16 minutes.
– My chance is to leave early, he continued.
– I couldn’t have a better season than this, said Evenepoel and added that now he will have a party.
This is Belgium’s first gold in WC this year. Previously, this cycling nation had two silver and three bronze medals.
But right before the sprint, moments after the winners have finished, it looks like there’s going to be a Norwegian medal. Because Alexander Kristoff was there. He finished sixth, ahead of Peter Sagan.
– We didn’t stand a chance against him today, in a sense it’s a deserved winner. He may have a lot of great accomplishments ahead of him, Kristoff said of the TV 2 winner.
This was the sixth time Kristoff had finished in the WC top ten, in eight WC starts.
– Suddenly I was behind my group of sprinters. I was a bit stifled, Kristoff told TV 2 and realized he should have been a few places further out towards the end if he wanted to medal towards the end. Rasmus Tiller is number 16.
Tobias Foss with sensational WC gold speed: – Can anyone wake me up?
– The sickest I’ve ever heard
Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel snapped the co-start at WC Cycling in Wollongong in Australia after covering just 30 kilometers. The Norwegian driver then saw Poel at the start and did not realize he was broke. They don’t know about the drama night at the hotel.
– That’s the sickest thing I’ve heard in a long time. Then I understood he wasn’t feeling completely raw. It was a sickening story, Kristoff told TV 2.
Because the run up to the race was very special and developed dramatically for the Dutchman.
According to Belgium’s Sporza.be, he was said to have been awakened during the night in his hotel room by several children knocking on the door repeatedly. The athlete was upset, and one of his children, a daughter, said that he was injured in the arm when van der Poel spoke. The police were called, and van der Poel was arrested.
– It’s true, yes. It was a small dispute, said the Dutchman.
– I didn’t get back to the hotel room until 4 o’clock last night. It’s not ideal, he said before the start of the race according to sporza.de.
The perpetrator was also interviewed by a Dutchman Nos. nl after the race.
He admits he didn’t tell the kids in a controlled way.
– I didn’t ask them nicely to stop. Then the police were called and I was arrested.
According to the newspaper, Van der Poel had to Sydney Morning Herald court appearance next week.
They wrote that the athlete allegedly pushed two girls and police had charged him with two counts of physical assault.
Just a few weeks before the WC race, Kristoff started running:
His passport was confiscated
Christoph Roodhoft, team leader at Alpecin-Deceuninck, spoke after the race in an interview broadcast on TV 2. He confirmed that van der Poel’s passport had been temporarily revoked for six weeks.
– Very unexpected, said Roodhooft of the situation.
– Obviously some children were at her door, and after the third time she got bored and went out. Apparently children, teenagers, without parents, and clearly someone called the police and they came. They asked him to come to the station to give an explanation.
Roodhooft was asked if van der Poel had been physically with the children.
– No, no, he answered.
Roodhooft said the athlete went with him to the police station where he explained himself, and was then able to leave the scene.
– They said that his passport had been revoked until October 23. Why?
– It is standard procedure for six weeks when something like this happens, and you are not an Australian citizen. That’s how I understand it.
– He didn’t sleep last night and his mental breakdown is also a little bit. He had hoped for a lot from today and had done everything he could for the last two months.
The sun and sunny weather and the fantastic sea of people cheered the racers to the finish line.
The race eventually broke up with drivers from smaller countries dropping early, France picking up pace after just over three miles of the 266.9 kilometer race. Climbing Mount Keira, the toughest climb of the race, France was able to make an intermediate break with some of the biggest favourites. Norway is also well represented there with Tobias Foss and Andreas Leknessund.
The fast-paced start eventually gave way to a much quieter phase. From the middle break, five racers managed to reach the early break.
Leknessund also tried to get back up, but the distance was too far and he chose to wait on center court again. There, Spain and the Netherlands took most of the responsibility. The gap was gradually reduced from about seven and a half minutes to eleven laps in the city of WC Wollongong, and by the fifth and final lap the pace had picked up seriously.
A new intermediate break was made with 75 kilometers and once again Norway was represented, this time with Rasmus Tiller, who finished in 16th place.
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