– Tour of Flanders (@RondeVlaanderen) October 18, 2020
The ugly fall of Alaphilippa
Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe fell badly in contact with the motorcyclist and resigned after driving with the Dutchman and the Belgian 40 kilometers before the goal.
In one of the most difficult one-day trials in the cycling caravan, six riders escaped in the first part, leaving the majority in the forefront for more than seven minutes.
A little more than 244 kilometers long ordeal was decided in the second half, when one after another, steep, short ascents with granite cubes began to take place. The favorites also had a lot of problems with them, for example Van Aert and his compatriot Jesper Stuyven fell, but without consequences for the continuation of one of the five biggest classics of the season.
Sixty kilometers before the finish line, mostly fierce battles began for positions ahead of key ascents and sections of the cubes. The group remained large and the favorites caught the fugitives 50 kilometers before the finish.
– Sporza 🚴 (@sporza_koers) October 18, 2020
Soon, however, the bulk disintegrated, with three major favorites in the forefront, Alaphilippe, van der Poel, and Van Aert. In the background, they were chased by a group of 18 cyclists.
– Daniel Ostanek (@LVCKV) October 18, 2020
Only the Belgian and the Dutch remained in front
But then, 35 km before the end, in contact with the motorcyclist, Alaphilippe fell badly, holding on to his elbow and unable to continue the test. In front remained van der Poel and Van Aert, who, according to the Gent-Wevelgem classic, condemned each other for not having any real cooperation in the fight for the prestigious victory.
This time, they were forced to work well together even after the fall of the world champion, and they quickly gained more than a minute of advantage. Before the last crossing of Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, it was clear that the favored riders would fight for the win.
The last ascents did not give an early decision on the winner, and the sprint after 244 kilometers was crucial. This was first started by van der Poel, Van Aert was approaching him, but on the finish line the Dutchman was a little faster and celebrated for the first time in his career in a race in Flanders. Third place in the sprint of the larger group in the background was taken by Norwegian Alexander Kristoff.
Flanders 2020 race, order:
1. Mathieu Van der Poel (Niz) Alpecin-Fenix
Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energy
5. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Elegant-Quickstep
6. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis
7. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale
8. Dylan Van Baarle (Niz) Ineos Grenadiers
9. John Degenkolb (Nem) Lotto Soudal
10. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb
Excellent Ganna on the chronometers unbeatable, excellent performance of Tratnik