Race director Leo van Vliet has received a lot of criticism after a bizarre maneuver in the final of the Amstel Gold Race. When Ben Healy seemed to close the gap with Tadej Pogacar, Van Vliet started driving for the Slovenian with his support vehicle. The lead on Healy immediately increased again.
People on social media are convinced that the race director really wanted Tadej Pogacar on the honors list of the Amstel Gold Race and therefore gave him a helping hand. Van Vliet thinks completely differently about this and does not understand the commotion.
“We all hoped that Pogacar would win”, a satisfied Van Vliet looks back in an interview with AD. “Especially because we didn’t have the strongest field of participants due to the absence of Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel. I just called his boss Mauro Gianetti. He said that Pogacar is motivated and only drives to win. The race broke open at 100 kilometers from the finish. I haven’t seen that in 20 years.”
Why was he riding so close to Pogacar? “We drove behind it and wanted to pass. Then you have to be careful. If someone takes a picture just then, then there is indeed a car in front of it. What do I have to do with that? We are better concentrating on the nice race we have seen.”
— Sporza 🚴 (@sporza_race) April 16, 2023
Van vliet denies that he drove about 20 meters from the Slovenian for a kilometer. “That is not true at all. Go check out the images. Wouldn’t it benefit me to do that? We drove far enough for it. There’s nothing wrong. Let them do it, I can’t do anything with it.”