For a racing return Poels could have hardly picked a tougher destination, as he was thrust straight into the hectic Ardennes Classics opener at Amstel Gold. The races have allowed the 30 year old to get in some tough race days before he heads to the Giro d’Italia next month.
“The Ardennes are really not easy races to make your comeback,” he added. “Obviously I always hope for slightly better performances, especially at Amstel, but at Fleche I had a little bit of bad luck and got caught behind a crash ahead of the penultimate climb of Mur de Huy. So that was why I wasn’t nearer the front.
“For the Ardennes for sure the crash has set me back, but for the Giro we still have two weeks until the race starts. I’m hopefully everything will be good once we get over there. It’s going to be a nice course again this year.”
Liege will be Poels’ final race before lining up in Israel at the start of the 2018 Giro, and despite the crash and recovery he feels the form is building to where it needs to be going into the Grand Tour.
“Sometimes you just need to have something click to know that you are good again. I think I’m really close to it so hopefully it comes in the race this weekend, but otherwise for sure at the Giro. It would be nice mentally to be able to do a good race at Liege as it will be my final race before the Giro.
“I’m still building up so there’s no stress, but it’s always nice to get a result at Liege.”