De Vlaeminck: “Van Aert is strong, but Van der Poel is pure fantasy”

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Only the Flame has won the 5 monuments and a world title in the mud. Sunday in Holland the final between the two giants

Spontaneous. direct. No filters of any kind. Roger De Vlaeminck stayed the same: The opportunity to verify this is a conversation in view of the World Cross Country Championships… and beyond. Not only because the great Belgian was in fact the world champion of specialties, but also the last in the order to win all 5 monuments on the road. On Sunday in Hoogerheide in the Netherlands, all attention is focused on the epochal duel between Mathieu van der Poel (winner yesterday in the World Cup in France) and Wout van Aert (also first, on Saturday in Hamme, in the last test): Roger De Vlaeminck is a privileged observer who only says what he thinks. And he always has Italy in his heart, where he has one of his best friends, Tuscan ex-masseuse and sports director Piero Pieroni.

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