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Van der Poel wins epic Tour of Flanders

Van der Poel wins epic Tour of Flanders

Mathieu van der Poel has saved his cool in an exciting dash finale following a compelling duel with Tadej Pogacar to assert his second Tour of Flanders title.

The good Dutch rider, who had adopted double Tour de France champion Pogacar’s accelerations, produced a late burst with 250 metres to go to win Sunday’s marvellous version of the ‘Monument’ basic.

Slovenian Pogacar ended up blowing his probability with essential hesitation within the denouement in Oudenaarde, and was left annoyed with fourth place.

One other Dutch rider, Dylan van Baarle, took benefit to take second place forward of France’s Valentin Madouas.

Pogacar, who was chasing his third Monument however competing within the Flanders basic for the primary time, was visibly offended after crossing the ending line however might solely blame himself for making the improper choices when it mattered.

He paid the value for not launching the dash whereas in an excellent place, losing all of the laborious work he had put in earlier within the 272.5-km race.

A brutal acceleration by the 23-year-old Pogacar throughout the mid-race climb up the Oude Kwaremont, 60 kilometres from the end, blew the favourites’ group aside .

On the subsequent hill, the famed Koppenberg, Pogacar attacked once more and solely van der Poel and Madouas managed to observe.

The trio caught the final two breakaway riders, van Baarle and Britain’s Fred Wright, with 38km left.

Within the third and final climb as much as the Oude Kwaremont, van der Poel was the one one capable of observe Pogacar.

The Slovenian left his rival gasping within the final ascent of the day, as much as the Paterberg, however the Dutchman held on grimly to remain in his wheel.

The duo had 30 seconds on van Baarle and Madouas however the cat-and-mouse sport between Pogacar and Van der Poel with the road in sight began and the 2 chasers caught up with them.

Van der Poel waited till that second to start out his dash and Pogacar discovered himself boxed in, lacking out on what would have been a deserved podium end.

It was one other super triumph for the versatile van der Poel, the 2020 Flanders champion who wore the Tour de France yellow jersey for six days final yr. He is the grandson of the late, nice French rider Raymond Poulidor.

Michael Matthews ended within the acquainted place of being the main Australian, ending eleventh, some 48 seconds behind van der Poel.

His BikeExchange-Jayco teammate Luke Durbridge was the subsequent house in a distant 83rd among the many 103 finishers, over 10 minutes adrift.

Sixty-two different riders did not make it to the end of the gruelling six-and-a-half hour basic, together with the opposite three Australians Heinrich Haussler, Alex Edmondson and Kelland O’Brien.

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