Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali watched Mathieu van der Poel win the Amstel Gold Race on a mobile telephone before the team presentation of the Tour of the Alps, seemingly more impressed with the Dutchman’s performance and victory than about their own chances of victory in the hilly five-day stage race that begins in Kufstein, Austria on Monday.
Both Nibali and Froome watched the final kilometres like any rider or racer; looking for their teammates and then admiring Van der Poel’s incredible finish with a smile and an expression of respect.
“He’s can win like that because cyclo-cross has given him that explosiveness. When he has to power through the sand or mud in a cyclo-cross race so often it trains him to produce big watts, it’s the benefit of crossing over from the two disciplines. He has trained to go the distance and kept his explosiveness,” Nibali pointed out.
Froome admitted he knew little about Van der Poel but was equally impressed.
Froome and Nibali sat side by side at the Tour of the Alps pre-race press conference, before admiring Van der Poel, any spats of the past forgotten due to their mutual respect.
They are Grand Tour rivals, having won ten Grand Tour between them and are the big draw of the 2019 Tour of the Alps even if they both played down any expectations of a duel in the Austrian and Italian Alps of the Euroregion.
Nibali looking for Giro d’Italia form
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com