March 4, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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What did Benidorm learn?  “Mathieu van der Poel will not only win all the Classics,” he said.

What did Benidorm learn? “Mathieu van der Poel will not only win all the Classics,” he said.

José De Cauwer is an animal who rides bikes across and across to Benidorm to take part in the Proximus cyclo-cross World Cup. He immediately pointed out that the Spanish cyclo-cross still has “a lot of potential” even after the second edition and how we should not draw conclusions too quickly from the fiery Mathieu van der Poel.

Benidorm welcomed riders yesterday for the second year in a row, and as last year, the Spanish outing was well received.

“This cross has potential,” José de Cowher nodded this afternoon at a Spanish airport.

“There is still a bit of work to do to improve everything, especially regarding safety. Then I think about protecting the internal bends.”

“But everything was well organized, and the food service process improved. Everyone could eat and drink,” the analyst winks about his traditional hobby.

The fans, including many Spaniards, were very excited. “I also saw a different crowd here than we had over the Christmas period. In those crosses, things can get out of hand sometimes, but not here.”

You could tweak such a fast circuit a little bit, but it was hard enough, you know. Of course you can't change this hard surface.

Jose de Quir

Opinions are divided about the course. The flying meeting is an exception on the calendar and faces some opposition from both the left and the right.

“You can still manipulate it, and that is a matter of development. Above all, it has potential for the audience and that is the most important thing.”

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“What if you had said 5 years ago that you would like to race abroad during this period with the best riders taking training courses here?”

“It shouldn't cost them a lot of energy and then you end up in this area. It was a big deal.”

“You could tweak such a fast track a little, but it was hard enough, you know. And of course you can't change this hard surface.”

Champs Elysees

Mathieu van der Poel was beaten by bad luck at the start and then made several devastating moves down the stretch.

José de Cauer still remembers it as “awesome”. “First gear was particularly impressive, because he had already come back after those problems in the series.”

“I talked about it with Theis Aerts, a racer who saw it firsthand. He said: 'It wasn't normal.'

“The photo was also captured very beautifully with this drone. It's as if you were running down the Champs-Élysées. I really experienced that.”

How did Van der Poel almost catch his opponents cold? Is he the best or worst compared to his competitors? – Uncertainty is on the way to spring.

De Cauwer fumes: “Mathieu is the best crossover rider this winter. He is not interested in this series of victories, only the world championship.”

“I was just talking about it with Adri van der Poel and he also said that this might be Matteo's best, but that doesn't mean he will win all the Classics, right? Those races are a different story.”

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Wout van Aert will welcome victory with open arms, but like others, he is mature enough to put everything in the right context.

Jose de Quir

Let's not forget that the winner in Benidorm was Wout van Aert in the end. “He will welcome it with open arms and that's good for confidence, but he also knows how it happened.”

“It's nothing more, nothing less. Foote is smart enough to know where he stands. These guys are adults and they put everything in the right context.”

“Just like we were talking about Matthew's series and 14 in a row. But believe me, he's really not losing sleep over it.”