Mathieu van der Poel was in tears after his victory in the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. The Dutchman could not comprehend that he had taken the win in a bizarre final.
"Unbelievable. I can't believe it", it was the only thing Van der Poel could say to the NOS for a long time. After the sprint he lay on the ground crying with joy and disbelief.
In his first Amstel Gold Race, 24-year-old Van der Poel seemed to stand a chance for the win a kilometer before the finish. He rode in a group behind Julian Alaphilippe and Jakob Fuglsang.
The Frenchman and the Dane wanted to decide who would win, but were actually caught up in the final meters, so Van der Poel, who still took the win.
"I didn't think I would win", Van der Poel acknowledged. "But in the last few meters I suddenly saw Alaphilippe and Fuglsang riding in front of me. That's why I started sprinting at 400 meters. It was all or nothing and it became everything."