Mathieu van der Poel wins first WorldTour victory

3 April 2019

The Dutch champion Mathieu van der Poel has won Dwars door Vlaanderen. He grabbed victory in the sprint of five from the Frenchman Anthony Turgis and the Luxembourger Bob Jungels. For van der Poel, it is his first WorldTour victory.

It was a long wait before the pack released some escapees. Finally, a leading group of eight racers was formed: Nelson Oliveira, Lukas Pöstlberger, Ramon Sinkeldam, Kris Boeckmans, Mihkel Räim, Michael Hepburn, Zhandos Bizhigitov and Jonas Koch. Just before the Kluisberg, 72 km from the finish, the men’s race was neutralised. A delay in the women’s race - due to two falls shortly after each other - forced the men to stop for a while for safety reasons. The eight escapees regained their lead of about two minutes from the pack.

After an attack by van der Poel on the Knokteberg, he was able to join the frontrunners together with Anthony Turgis and Iván García Cortina. Just before this merger, Nelson Oliveira took the lead. On the second climb of the Knokteberg, Lukas Pöstlberger tried to catch up with Nelson Oliveira. Just when the van der Poel group threatened to be caught up by the pack, Tiesj Benoot attacked. Only Bob Jungels, Mathieu van der Poel and Anthony Turgis were able to join the leading group with Benoot. Together they raced towards the two frontrunners.

Due to equipment malfunction for Oliveira, five leaders remained. Nobody in the pack took the initiative to engage in pursuit. The victory was therefore decided between the five racers at the front. Turgis was the first to embark on the sprint, but van der Poel did not allow himself to be taken by surprise. The Dutchman van der Poel won convincingly, ahead of Turgis and Jungels.

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