Oudenaarde (dpa) – Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel won the prestigious Tour of Flanders for the first time for professional cyclists. In the duel of the big favorites, the 25-year-old beat Belgian Wout van Aert in a millimeter decision.
The duo had retired early on the 243.3 kilometer course from Antwerp to Oudenaarde and agreed to win the final meters. Third place went to Alexander Kristoff (Norway), while John Degenkolb came out of the first group of chasers in ninth place. The Tour of Flanders does indeed take place in April, but had to be postponed until the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The world road bike champion Julian Alaphilippe deprived himself of any chance of winning a good 30 kilometers. The 28-year-old Frenchman was reckless and hit a motorcycle from behind, previously in a group with van der Poel and van Aert. Alaphilippe broke two metacarpal bones, as his Deceuninck-Quick team reported later that evening. The rainbow jersey of the world champion has not brought him too much luck so far, two weeks ago he had already lost a victory he believed certain at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.