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Mathieu van der Poel exchanges rose for purple and can go full for stage victories after early retirement from teammate: “That jersey is not (yet) a goal”

©  ISOPIX

For three days Mathieu van der Poel was allowed to wear the pink leader’s jersey in the Giro d’Italia. As expected, his reign came to an end in the first stage on Italian soil. “I knew it was going to be difficult. I am realistic enough for that,” the Dutchman from Alpecin-Fenix ​​told Eurosport.

Vincent Van Genechten

Tuesday 10 May 2022 at 20:29

Van der Poel finished on the Etna volcano at more than 20 minutes from stage winner Lennard Kämna.

“I didn’t know this climb. It was beautiful, but tough”, he looked back on the 21 kilometer long final climb, the first big obstacle in this Giro after three stages in Hungary. There, Van der Poel had immediately struck in the first stage and successfully defended his leading position in an individual time trial and a flat stage.

In the first hour of the fourth stage, Van der Poel even made an attempt to participate in a breakaway. “But it became clear to me pretty quickly that they weren’t letting me go. On the final climb I decided to ride up at my own pace.”

©  ISOPIX

Van der Poel remains the leader in the points classification. Now that his team’s sprinter, the Italian Jakub Mareczko, has already given up, the Dutchman could be involved in possible bunch sprints. “I am mainly here for stage victories, that jersey is not the main goal. But maybe that will come if it turns out that I’m still in good shape for the last week.”

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