Mathieu Van Der Poel has proved that he is in top shape as he won Dwars door Vlaanderen. The last stretch of the race was thrilling as a group of eight riders vigorously fought each other and in the end, it all came down to tactics, but the Dutchman came on top with a combination of amazing strategy and raw power.
The way Van Der Poel handled himself in the race was nothing like we have seen before, he missed many attacks laid by the other racers and in the end, decided to finally join up with his rival Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) for the final stretch of 1.5 kilometers. Soon after joining up, Van Der Poel laid Benoot in the dust as he reached the final line with a powerful sprint.
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With Van Der Poel coming at the first position, he got to share the podium with Benoot who came second, Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) who came third, and finally Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) who ended up with the fourth position.
In a very surprising turn of events, Tadej Pogacar from the UAE Team Emirates missed out on all the attacks, and he also claims that a crash disrupted his performance, we don’t know how much of this is true. He tried his level best but in the end eased down and followed with the chase group, but still could not catch up with the group of the eight decisive riders.
This defeat is certainly a good lesson for Pogacar before the Tour of Flanders starts. On the other hand, Van Der Poel certainly seems very happy with his effort and decisive win. He had a lot to say after this race:
I went pretty deep. I felt good but for sure not the strongest in the leading group.
I had to close the gap a few times and it really hurt, but I think I rode a perfect final. I already saw that Tiesj was really strong and he deserves to be second as well.
We went away on Berg Ten Houte and the cooperation was really good. We were all really strong guys and it was almost impossible to catch us.
As he has won the Dwars door Vlaanderen twice, this makes him the main favorite to race and win the Tour of Flanders, let’s see how the event unfolds on Sunday.
Featured Image Via YouTube/FloBikes