Jasper Stuyven’s late attack at Milan-San Remo was high-risk in a high-stakes race but proved to be the best way to win Milan-San Remo against the pre-race favourites Mathieu van der Poel, Wout Van Aert and Julian Alaphilppe.
The Trek-Segafredo rider was strong enough to be part of the selection that formed over the top of the Poggio but knew he had little chance of winning the sprint in the Via Roma. He instinctively decided to attack, throwing caution to the wind, but knowing the big three might just watch each other and the sprinters in the group, like Caleb Ewan, allowing him to stay away.
He pulled it off majestically.
“There are three guys who are really strong, everyone knows that and everyone talked about it. But that didn’t mean we weren’t going to race for the win. We had a plan to go for it, to be up there, we had a plan to race for the win,” Stuyven explained proudly post race.
“I think it’s normal everyone talks about them if you see how they’ve been riding. If I had to go one to one against them, there’s a high chance they’re maybe stronger. But I said from the beginning of the year that doesn’t mean I go to the start line with the idea to finish fourth.
“Those three are the strongest riders in the world in virtually every kind of race, but I showed today that if you believe in it, you can achieve great things. And that they’re beatable.
"Nobody is unbeatable. I think that’s the right mentality.”
Stuyven revealed that the idea of an attack came over the top of the Poggio as he thought about his end game. He knew he had to try a different strategy as waiting for the sprint finish was a loser’s game.
“I felt good, really good, all day and the finale was going well. I was there on the Poggio but there were a lot of fast guys up there, so I knew I had to try all or nothing. I did, went all-in and took the biggest win of my career,” he concluded.
You are invited 🎟 to the @Jasperstuyven #MilanoSanremo bus party 🥳👏🥳Come and join Jasper, @nikconci @SunJjak @ryanmullen9 @vincenzonibali @Tomashuuns & @QuinnSimmons9 on board 🚌! PS you’ll want the sound on 🔊 for this 😂😉 pic.twitter.com/022HFT4Oh4March 20, 2021
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