Mathieu van der Poel is confident that he can secure the overall victory in the Tour of Great Britain on Saturday. The 24-year-old Dutchman won the penultimate stage on Friday and strengthened his leading position in the general classification.
"I feel good and notice that I am getting better every day," said Van der Poel after his victory at a press conference. "A finish like this fits me perfectly. The climb was quite short and quite steep. I like this."
Van der Poel went on the attack a few hundred meters before the finish and was joined by Matteo Trentin, his most important competitor in the general classification. The Italian was unable to put Van der Poel in trouble and had to leave the victory to the cyclocross world champion.
"I felt that there was someone else in my wheel, but I did not know exactly who that was", Van der Poel continued. "I was actually a bit too far when I started my sprint, so I was afraid that I would get into trouble. As the finish came in sight, I ran out of steam and I could finish the job."
Mathieu van der Poel strengthened his leading position in Great Britain on Friday. (Photo: Pro Shots)
"World Cup is totally different race"
Van der Poel will start the final stage on Saturday with a 12-second lead over Trentin. "I am confident that I can take the overall win, especially given the lead that I have. It will be a tough day, but if I and my teammates can continue the shape of last week, I will succeed."
The World Cup in Yorkshire, scheduled for late this month, seems to be coming just in time for Van der Poel, although he thinks a comparison between the games in Great Britain is pointless.
"The race at the World Cup is more than a hundred kilometers longer than today's race. That means you get a totally different sprint, even though both races are hilly. The strongest will win there and not necessarily the fastest."
The last stage in the Tour of Great Britain starts on Saturday at 12.15 p.m. The peloton travels from Altrincham to Manchester on a hilly course of 166 kilometers long.
See also: Van der Poel strengthens its lead position in Great Britain with fantastic results