Wout van Aert does not blame his Jumbo-Visma teammate Primoz Roglic after the road race at the World Cycling Championships.
The Belgian leader had to settle for a silver medal for the second time in three days.
Shortly behind winner Julian Alaphillipe, Van Aert won the sprint of a small group in Imola on Sunday.
Roglic was also among those pursuers, for whom Van Aert did a lot of work in the Tour de France this month.
After the road race there was some excitement in the Flemish media about Roglic, who would have helped Van Aert little in the pursuit of Alaphilippe.
Former rider Eddy Planckaert even said: "If I were Wout, I would never be one meter ahead of Roglic again".
However, Van Aert did not blame the Slovenian.
"Primoz was on the limit, he couldn't do better. After seven hours of racing it's not always a question of wanting, but also of being able to. I think Primoz wanted to help me, but he was just as devastated as the rest of the group. ", Van Aert said to
The Belgian was disappointed by the questions about his teammate.
"I think it's a shame that there is so much commotion. Primoz really did his best. I saw that myself in the front row and so I can judge it best."
Alaphilippe solos to world title on the road in Italy
Van Aert doesn't blame himself after silver twice
On Friday, Van Aert also took silver in the time trial at the World Cup, by finishing in second place at 26 seconds behind the Italian Filippo Ganna.
On Sunday, Van Aert was 24 seconds short of Alaphilippe.
Shortly after the race, Van Aert was still quite disappointed, but on Sunday evening he was a bit more cheerful towards Belgian journalists who were waiting for him at Eindhoven airport.
"In those first moments you are very disappointed, because you are the first loser. But now that feeling is a bit better, because my performance was very good and I have nothing to blame myself", said Van Aert.
Wout van Aert spoke to Belgian media at Eindhoven airport on Sunday evening. (Photo: ANP)
Wout van Aert spoke to Belgian media at Eindhoven airport on Sunday evening.
Van Aert equals Indurain and Olano
"I take two medals at my very first World Championship on the road. I must not forget that", said the three-time cyclocross world champion.
"I leave the World Championship with my head held high."
"Of course I will not go to a World Championship for a silver medal, but that does not mean that I can be proud of it afterwards. In both the time and the road race I always bumped into a rider who was better than me, that is the beauty of sports. "
Van Aert is only the third rider ever to win two medals at the same World Cup.
Only the Spaniards Miguel Indurain and Abraham Olano achieved that earlier.
The stage in Imola with Wout van Aert, Julian Alaphilippe and Marc Hirschi. (Photo: Pro Shots)
The stage in Imola with Wout van Aert, Julian Alaphilippe and Marc Hirschi.
(Photo: Pro Shots)