5 speaking factors from the Tour of Flanders 2020




Stephen Puddicombe




Triumphant Mathieu van der Poel follows in his father’s footsteps

Mathieu van der Poel wins the Tour of Flanders 2020 (Dirk Waem/BELGA/AFP through Getty Images)

In an exciting Tour of Flanders that developed appropriate right into a showdown between the 2 cyclocross stars and youthful prodigies of Classics racing, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) overcame his acquainted rival Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) to voice a hideous victory.

Using solely in his second Ronde, Van der Poel might moreover merely no longer have nice deepest experience of this trudge however must have learnt a element or two over time from his father Adri van der Poel, who gained the trudge encourage in 1986.

Van der Poel has been broadly tipped to educate in his father’s footsteps since bursting onto the twin carriageway scene final season with a string of jaw-dropping performances however hadn’t fairly reached these heights this season — that’s, until at the moment.

The scarcity of crowds (caused by Covid-19 measures) made for a unusually subdued spectacle, however Van der Poel’s celebration on the perform made clear magnificent how nice the victory meant. The 2-man trudge between himself and van Aert turned so shut that he didn’t on the beginning arrange realise that he’d gained, however as quickly as confirmed the Dutchman turned elated, breaking down with emotion, his arms held over his face.

As his first Monument victory, this is the last word second as a lot as now in Van der Poel’s occupation on the twin carriageway — however extra is certain to return in due path from this particular experience.

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak not directly wins the Ronde

Chantal van den Broek Blaak en path to sufficient the Tour of Flanders 2020 (Characterize by Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

Having twice previous to made the podium, as correctly as a result of the pinnacle ten on some other 4 instances, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, not directly, gained the trudge that has eluded her for therefore lengthy.

The Boels-Dolmans rider broke clear from a exiguous crew of favourites on the Oude Kwaremont and have become now to not be thought of once more by the others until the perform.

Although she little doubt benefited from tall teamwork from Boels-Dolmans, whose numerical attend throughout the crew of favourites helped disrupt the lag on the encourage of, that may have counted for nothing have been it no longer for Van den Broek-Blaak’s grand solo jog.

The eradicate is her first-ever Monument, and some other triumph in what had already been a fruitful season following her pre-lockdown victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Having introduced her realizing to retire on the conclude of subsequent season, the Dutchwoman will more than likely be jubilant to have accomplished this lengthy hoped for end result previous to it turned too unhurried.

Van der Poel and Van Aert are practically inseparable

Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel all of the process via the Tour of Flanders 2020 (Characterize by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Billed as a duel between the 2 tall cyclocross champions, the boys’s Tour of Flanders did no longer disappoint.

After Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) dramatically crashed 35km from the perform (extra on that later), and with the the leisure of the self-discipline already adrift and slipping additional away, the pair have been left on my own to duke it out for victory.

Irrespective of the minor fall-out between the 2 throughout the aftermath of Gent-Wevelgem, when Van Aert accused his rival of prioritising battling him from sufficient instead of sufficient himself, the 2 rode correctly collectively, and as quickly because the opening between them and the chasers exceeded one minute as they approached the ultimate climb of the Oude Kwaremont, it turned clear that victory would fall to 1 in each of them.

The problem turned harking back to earlier tall rivalries of the final decade, resembling Tom Boonen v Fabian Cancellara, and Fabian Cancellara v Peter Sagan. Nevertheless whereas in these instances Cancellara managed to drop the various over the trudge’s last climb (Sagan in 2013 and Boonen in 2010), this time even the extraordinarily steep slopes on the head of the Paterberg turned no longer ample to be decisive, with the pair last alongside with nothing it seems that between them.

As a change, this turned a unusual occasion the place a lone chief had no longer been established by the ending straight, and a trudge turned wished to look out out the winner. And even then, they’ve been practically inseparable, with van der Poel solely defeating him by a allotment of a wheel-dimension. If the perform line have been magnificent a couple of meters additional away instead it’ll more than likely be the Belgian celebrating a first-ever Ronde victory.

With the 2 riders dramatically slowing-all of the development down to almost a observe stand, and every launching their trudge at practically the similar second, it turned a fittingly thrilling ending to what turned a standard Tour of Flanders, and some other instalment in what’s probably the most animated rivals throughout the peloton in the meanwhile.

Alaphilippe attracts headlines once more with dramatic atomize

Julian Alaphilippe crashes out of the Tour of Flanders 2020 (Luc Claesen/BELGA/AFP through Getty Images)

He’s solely been world champion for 3 weeks, however already Julian Alaphilippe’s tenure throughout the rainbow jersey has been one in all probably the most incident-packed in most stylish years.

Having misplaced Liège-Bastogne-Liège with a premature celebration on his first racing day throughout the rainbow stripes, and sufficient Brabantse Pijl on his second, Alaphilippe yet again stole the headlines after he painfully crashed 35km from the perform whereas in a neighborhood to doubtlessly eradicate the trudge.

Alaphilippe had already been the day’s predominant instigator, accelerating first on the Koppenberg after which once more on Steenbeekdries, the place solely van der Poel and Van Aert managed to educate, forming the decisive totally different irrespective of there level-headed being practically 40km level-headed to jog.

Nevertheless a mere matter of minutes later, his trudge turned over. The cobblestones had anticipated to be a enviornment for Alaphilippe, who had no experience of using the Flemish Classics, and certainly he did check out dejected whereas using throughout the gutter up the Paterberg for the primary time. Then once more, the trudge-ending atomize in precise truth took place on a tarmac half, when the Frenchman did no longer uncover in time a moto gradual down in entrance of him and collided into it head-first.

The sector champion turned in audible hassle on the twin carriageway, crying out whereas clutching his shoulder. It turned a bitter conclude to what has been a rollercoaster twelve months for Alaphilippe and a sorry find out about for followers of his exhilarating racing.

A tactical masterclass from Boels-Dolmans

Amy Pieters all of the process via the Tour of Flanders 2020 (Characterize by Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

For a second, at 25km to move, it appeared as if the women people’s trudge turned set as much as coach the similar sample as a result of the boys’s, with the 2 clear pre-trudge favourites, Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) using away from the the leisure of the self-discipline to contest for victory.

Then once more, as quickly as van der Breggen bridged as a lot as her compatriot, who had attacked a couple of kilometres for the time being after summiting the Kruisberg, she made the animated tactical likelihood now to not jog with Van Vleuten. It turned a transparent indication that Boels Dolmans have been going to jog a tactical trudge making spend of their a couple of sources, instead of depend on Van der Breggen getting the simpler of Van Vleuten.

The technique paid off handsomely. With Van der Breggen marking all of the issues Van Vleuten did, and quickly finisher Amy Pieters moreover last throughout the crew of favourites, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak turned in a plight to assemble an assault on the Oude Kwaremont radiant her teammates would disrupt the lag on the encourage of.

Van der Breggen and Pieters did certainly police the chasing crew expertly, repeatedly managing to designate the various assaults fabricated from it from the likes of Van Vleuten and her team-mate Grace Brown. Blaak’s hole bought higher and greater and Pieters even managed to eradicate the trudge for second to drag off a really most attention-grabbing one-two for the group.

Improved rivals from the the leisure of the peloton has shunned Boels-Dolmans from dominating to the extent that they did a couple of years in the past, however this turned a return to the group’s absolute best.

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