Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) celebrated the biggest victory of his career in the race in Flanders, for which he overtook the first favorite by a few centimeters Road to Aerta (Jumbo Visma). The eighth grader of the race, however, was the world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck Quick Step), who was among the runaway trio when his path was blocked by an accompanying engine.How the race would unfold if he were next to Alaphilippe in the finish, we will never know. The French star, who was burnt in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege race when he celebrated the victory too early, but overtook him Primož Roglič, was among the most active riders in the “race of all races”. His attacks provided a decisive selection, with only van der Poel, van Aert and he remaining in the lead about 35 km before the finish.
Instead of three, only two more
It promised a finish for gourmets during this time of the first three names of the one-day trials, but Alaphilippe did not notice the accompanying engine, which slowed sharply at the right edge of the road. The rivals who were in front of him at that moment still avoided him closely, “Loulou” crashed into him and lay on the floor in pain. His Deceuninck Quick Step team reported after the race that he was taken to hospital where an X-ray revealed a fracture of two bones in his right palm.Then the Dutchman and the Belgian unanimously continued on their way to the finish line and hit a tactical sprint. he also won two sprint battles on the Tour.
This route was too short for his hair in the race, which, like every Flemish, means the most to him. Van der Poel started the 200 m sprint before the finish line in the leading position and also had enough strength to defend it. “I have no words for it. I wasn’t sure I had won. I usually always know if I was first, but this time I was in the sprint completely at the end of my strength. But I knew it would be my advantage if we started sprinting late. The fact that he ran with all his might only 200 m before the finish was a sign that Wout was also tired to death. I accelerated at the right moment, but I didn’t dare celebrate the victory. I have already been told twice that I have won, but I have asked ten times to confirm it to me again. This victory outweighs many things, and the number 51 will be something special from now on, ”van der Poel celebrated the extraordinary emotional victory with which he succeeded his father. Adrie van der Poel he was also the best in the 1986 race in Flanders with a start number of 51.
There were also two Slovenians at the start, Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton Scott) finished in 23rd place (2:41), Luka Pibernik (Bahrain McLaren) resigned.