After last week’s Gent Wevelgem, it was a question as to whether (bitter) rivals Mathieu Van der Poel and Wout van Aert would cancel each other out in the run to the finish of the Tour of Flanders. It took the magic of the rainbow stripes to get them in the same break, but the magic wasn’t on Julian Alaphilippe‘s side as he hit a moto and left the race with some broken bones. But the rivals worked together, even if they rarely looked at each other, and went on the sprint for the line. MvdP took it by a whisker. I’ve not even attempted to write a coherent race review – it’s all about the reactions!
The break of dreams
If you want to read the whole of a race review for Flanders, this won’t be it. But this’ll hopefully give you a feeling for the excitement, the shocks and the tension once Julian Alaphilippe lit it up and rode away with Mathieu Van der Poel and Wout van Aert with about 40km to go.
And then a moment of inattention and this …
The last few centimetres
With the two strongest riders in the race up front and on their own, they had to work together to keep the peloton from coming back to them. They did, until the last 600m, where it was waiting and watching and waiting until they started their sprint. And of course only one could win.
Meanwhile … back at the emergency room
Broken bones in his right hand, he goes into surgery on Monday. Not that he had much more racing to go this year (if any), but it’s over now.
The rivalry that never ends
The last word
Top 10 results
1 Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 5:43:17
2 Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma) same time
3 Alexander Kristoff (UAE) +0:08
4 Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie) same time
5 Yves Lampaert (Elegant-Quickstep) s/t
6 Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis) s/t
7 Oliver Naesen (Ag2r la Mondiale) s/t
8 Dylan Van Baarle (Ineos) s/t
9 John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal) s/t
10 Tiesj Benoot (Team Sunweb) s/t
For full race review, see cyclingnews