It usually takes a little less than seven hours for riders to reach San Remo after 300 kilometers riding alongside the Liguria coast’s idyllic landscape. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) won the monument this year after he bravely attacked in the last two kilometers. Sonny Colbreli and Matej Mohorič (both Team Bahrain Victorious) were involved in a small group sprint and finished on the 8 and 11 places, respectively.
“It was my first Milan – San Remo and I have to say I enjoyed it a lot. I was again in the role of the domestique, this time, I was helping Matej. It means I took care of him from kilometer 0 to the final and crucial parts of the race, such as the Cipresse climb. I like the race. It’s very beautiful. However, if your role is to help your teammates, you lose a lot of energy at the beginning of the race, which makes it impossible to fight for a good result in the end. I didn’t feel 100% good because I’m still tired from Tirreno. Anyway, I fought my way throughout the race and did my job properly. I’m heading home now, where I will rest for a couple of days before I travel to Tenerife for an altitude training camp.”
Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates) won the stage race from Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic sea. Jan did an excellent job as a domestique to Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), who finished the race in third place in the general classification, a little less than four minutes behind the winner.
“I’m extremely happy with the first racing days in the new season. We gave it all for Landa as our leader in this race, which means I was a domestique. It’s very important we find the team spirit and get on with each other well because I will be on the team for Giro d’Italia. My condition physically and mentally, is very good. I enjoyed this race each day and did what the team told me to do. The competition was tough, and I wasn’t sure how my legs would be at the start of the race. However, I see now that all the winter preparation is paying off, and I can’t wait for the next races to begin.
Today’s performance on individual time trial was ok, but not great. I think I didn’t allocate my power equally along the course and therefore lost some of it in the last two kilometers. There is room for improvement, and I know I will perform better on the next time trials.
After Tirreno, my racing calendar slightly changes. I’m staying in Italy until Saturday when I will be racing the longest one-day race, the Milan – San Remo.“
It was Mathieu van der Poel who won Strade Bianche after an explosive attack on the last climb of the gravel roads of Tuscany. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) was the best Slovenian rider finishing seventh. Jan did an excellent job in the role of a domestique.
“I tried to go in a breakaway right from the start of the race, but I failed. I then focused on helping my team best, and I put in a lot of effort to enable my teammates to start the gravel sections in first positions. I remained active throughout the race as some attempts to form new breakaways emerged. I did my last job 70 kilometers to the finish line, and then also my legs started to feel emptier. I’m thrilled with how the race went, mostly because I did my job well and felt strong. It was a little bit of a shock for my body to race such a demanding race for the first time in the new season, but no worries since I have a few days to recover before Tirreno-Adriatico starts. I’m very excited about the coming races.”
Before his first race of the season this coming weekend at Strade Bianche, we asked Jan to share with us a couple thoughts!
“I worked hard in February. My trainings ranged from short, highly intensive to long, and more endurance trainings. We planned to would start the season in Belgium, racing Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne – Bruxelles – Kuurne but we had to make some small adjustments to my race calendar due to a crash on a training. I crashed because there was oil on the road and I hit the ground pretty hard. I suffered a slight concussion and some bruises, of course. That is why we decided I should rest and postpone my start of the season.”
“After a few days my condition normalised, and I could do some final trainings before the races. I will start racing in Italy, first at Strade Bianche and then Tirreno Adriatico is on the schedule. I’m happy with my condition, but it’s difficult to say how good I am because I don’t know how good others are. It is always tricky to know where you are with your performance at the beginning of the season. Anyway, I feel good and I think I can race well.“
“Like each year, I also set some goals for this season. According to my current race program, I would like to race well at these first races and repeat the good results at the Tour of Romandie, Giro d’Italia and Tour of Slovenia. I would also like to make my Olympic and Vuelta debut. I target a stage win at La Vuelta. The bottom line and the most importantly is to stay safe and sound throughout the whole season.“