Van Aert: I Had Secretly Hoped For A Place In The Top 10 At Tour Of Flanders

Wout Van Aert finishes 9th at Tour of Flanders

Few debut Classics campaigns have been as keenly watched as Wout van Aert 's, and the three-time cyclo-cross world champion has not disappointed. The Veranda's Willems Crelan rider was the picture of pain over the final climb of the 2018 Tour of Flanders , but he held on and took a hugely impressive ninth place, just 25 seconds behind the winner Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors). The 23-year-old admitted he had harboured hope of making the top 10 prior to his Tour of Flanders debut. "It had been said beforehand that this course is a war of attrition, and that was right," he told Belgian broadcaster Sporza , mud still covering his face. "The difficult climbs continued to follow each other. That was not easy, but I got through it. I had secretly hoped for a place in the top 10, but I think that I will soon realise what champions ...

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