“Beating all the fast guys in the sprint…I can’t believe it,” said three-time UCI Cyclocross World Champ Wout van Aert in tears after his sprint victory in the 2019 Tour de France Stage 10.
Missing his team’s top sprinter, Dylan Groenewegen, in the front group, team Jumbo Visma gave its Tour rookie Van Aert the green light to sprint for the win.
Van Aert kicked early, catching the Tour’s top sprinters in Peter Sagan, Michael Mathews and Elia Viviani by surprise with a fast finish and upset victory.
“From the last sprint I learned to go quite early so I went 250m from the finish,” Van Aert said. “It was quite close with Viviani but only 1cm is enough.”
Tour de France 2019 Stage 10 Sprint Video:
“It’s above anything else,” Van Aert said after his win, perhaps scaring cyclocross fans around the world. “I felt in the last 10 days how big this race is. Winning in my first attempt, wow!”
2019 Tour de France Stage 10 Last Kilometer Video:
Cyclocross fans are used to seeing Van Aert’s rival Van der Poel sprinting to victory, both against Van Aert and against the world’s best road and mountain bike racers.
Now we’re seeing the true talent of Van Aert without his rival sprinting for the same finish line.
The day before his victory, Van Aert sat down with NBC Sports for an interview to discuss his early road success, cyclocross background and future plans. You can watch that 17-minute sit-down below.
Tour de France Interview: Wout van Aert with NBC Sports: