'I don't think Pogačar trains harder but he's more talented and goes through life as a god of cycling,' says Oliver Naesen

The Belgian opens up on the mental struggles of having a season that doesn't go your way

Tadej Pogačar
(Image credit: Getty)

Oliver Naesen has opened up about the mental struggles a rider can go through when things aren't going their way, and that results are even harder to come by when faced with lining up alongside the likes of Tadej Pogačar, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.

"I have now learned that I should not compare myself with Van der Poel and Van Aert," Naesen told Wielerflits in a long and engaging interview. "The Tour of Flanders is a good example. When they – together with Asgreen – drove off and I couldn't follow, I didn't care anymore. Fifth or twentieth, who cares. I had started to win. But I wasn't among the best and let it go. A wrong attitude. That was also a lesson.”

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.