'I had lactate up to my ears': Mathieu van der Poel's stage 17 attack was an 'all or nothing' attempt

The Dutchman acknowledged he was perhaps too optimistic, but seemed encouraged by his performance nevertheless

Mathieu van der Poel Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mathieu van der Poel rode a fascinating, albeit unsuccessful, race on stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia, testing his climbing capabilities as he is set to complete the first full Grand Tour of his career.

Up Monterovere, a 7.9km long ascent at a 9.9% average gradient and the final climb of the race, Van der Poel attacked from Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma). At first the audacious move seemed like it would prove successful, but Leemreize fought back, before stage winner Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) overtook them both.

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