Van der Poel Wins Ronde van Vlaanderen 2024

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03/31/2024| 0 comments

Van der Poel Wins Ronde van Vlaanderen 2024

Mathieu van der Poel has won Tour of Flanders 2024. The Dutch rider crossed the finish line alone following a long solo ride. Luca Mozzato finished second, while Michael Matthews completed the race podium

The 2024 Ronde van Vlaanderen was contested on a 270.8-kilometer route from Antwerpen to Oudenaarde. The Ronde van Vlaanderen is one of the oldest cycling classics featuring cobbles. The steepest incline sections of up to twenty-two percent in this year’s edition were to be contested on the Koppenberg.

Main favorites and outsiders for the victory in this year’s Tour des Flandres included Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Tim Merlier (Soudal-QuickStep), Matteo Jorgenson (Team Visma-Lease a Bike), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious), Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek), Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep), Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost), and of course winner of this year’s Gent Wevelgem Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek). 

A group of breakaway hopefuls managed to escape from the main peloton early in the race. This looked set to become the long breakaway of the day. The group featured Bert van Lerberghe (Soudal-QuickStep), David Dekker (Arkea-B&B Hotels), Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Cofidis Team), Damien Touze (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Cycling Team), Luke Durbridge (Team Jayco-Alula), Elmar Reinders (Team Jayco-Alula), Lionel Taminiaux (Lotto-Dstny), and Jelle Vermoote (Bingoal-WB).

With 135 kilometers left of this year’s Tour of Flanders the breakaway group finally reached the legendary Oude Kwaremont climb for the first time. At this point the front group had an advantage of approximately three minutes and thirty seconds over the main peloton group that featured the race favorites. The Oude Kwaremont is 2.6 kilometers long and features incline percentages of up to 7.5.

With 127 kilometers left some riders collided with a spectator. Several riders went down on the cold tarmac. 

Attacks were launched from within the main peloton on the Wolvenberg with 114 kilometers left to compete on. Matteo Jorgenson (Team Visma-Lease a Bike) set a fast pace at the front in an attempt to split it into atoms. Lidl-Trek’s Mads Pedersen counterattacked. The riders in from the main peloton regrouped – for now. The accellerations, however, had caused the advantage of the front group to be reduced to just 01:30 minutes.

One hundred kilometers from the finish the speed in the main peloton was fast and the various teams were fighting for a spot at the front. The riders reached the Molenberg hill. Pedersen attacked followed by Jorgensen and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck). 

Julian Alaphilippe attacked for Soudal-QuickStep. Jorgenson closed the gap and took to the front of the favorites group to keep a fast pace. The breakaway group was 28 seconds ahead. 

Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Tiesj Benoot (Team Visma-Lease a Bike), Dylan van Baarle (Team Visma-Lease a Bike), Oliver Naesen (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team), Ben Turner (Ineos-Grenadiers), Pedersen, and Nils Politt (UAE Team Emirates) attacked. They quickly caught the remains of the front breakaway group and carried on.

A fourteen man group was established and the group built a lead of twenty seconds. Alpecin-Deceuninck took to the front of the chase group to reduce the advantage. 

The riders reached Valkenberg and Van der Poel attacked from the chase group, hoping to bridge the gap to the front group.  

Pedersen attacked from the front group and was joined by Gianni Vermeersch, who was acting as a lieutenant for his team captain van der Poel. He would not be pulling and all work would have to be done by Denmark’s Pedersen. Pedersen had created a lead of eleven seconds with 83 kilometers left.

An additional crash in the peloton took down eight riders including Stefan Küng (groupama-FDJ), Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates), and Cees Bol (Astana Team).

UAE Team Emirates moved to the front of the main peloton to set a fast and grueling pace that would keep Pedersen at close range and reduce the risk of additional attacks. 

Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) set an excruciating speed on a steep and cobbled hill climb. His intense speed caused many riders in the peloton group to be dropped. Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost), Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Søren Kragh Andersen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), van der Poel and others followed Bjerg. 

The riders were approaching an appealing three course Easter menu featuring Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg, with Koppenberg as delicious dessert. Meanwhile, Pedersen had remarkably managed to increase his lead to twentysix seconds in solo fashion with Vermeersch on his wheel as dead weight. 

It had started raining and Pedersen and Vermeersch were entering the Oude Kwaremont climb with a lead of ten seconds over the chasing main peloton. The climb would be contested on wet and slippery cobbles. Danger lay ahead!

Van der Poel attacked on the Oude Kwaremont and passed Pedersen, who joined the chasers. Oier Kazkano (Movistar Team) managed to close the gap to Van der Poel. Laurence Pithie (Groupama-FDJ) and others joined. A six-man group was formed.

The Paterberg was reached. The front group had an advantage of just six seconds. The group was joined by riders who caught up from behind.

Ivan Garcia Cortina (Movistar Team) attacked and went on a solo adventure on the rainy roads of Belgium. He was chased by van der Poel, Laurenz Rex (Intermarche-Wanty), Mohoric, Turner, Pedersen, and Lazkano. Pithie and Toms Skujins (Lidl-Trek) followed further back.

Cortina got his chain stuck on the Koppenberg. He was caught. Cortina coudn’t get his bike to work. The Koppenberg Cobbles were slippery. Van der Poel attacked. Jorgenson chased. Pedersen reemerged and had found new energy. 

Following Koppenberg van der Poel was in front in solo fashion. Jorgenson was chasing him six seconds behind, while Pedersen was following thirty seconds behind. The Koppenberg had wrecked havoc on the professional cycling peloton as intended by the race organizers who had designed a very exciting race route for spectators on site and at home in front of televisions, iPads, and other screen types.

With 35 kilometers left of this year’s Roonde van Vlaanderen van der Poel was still in front of the race. His solo attack had payed off and he had built an advantage of fifty seconds. Jorgenson was next, also solo, while a Pedersen-Rex duo formed a duo further behind.

Bettiol, Garcia Cortina, Dylan Teuns, Tim Wellens, and other riders joined Pedersen and Rex, but they were now almost tow minutes behind World Champion van der Poel. Jorgenson was caught and joined the other chasers.

Van der Poel pushed his pedals up the short but steep Oude Kruisberg. He was looking as strong and powerful as ever. Will he be able to recover in time for next weekend’s Paris-Roubaix 2024 following today’s excruciating performance?

The riders entered the Oude Kwaremont for the third time and van der Poel was still in front. He was on his way to a third victory in Ronde van Vlaanderen. The wet cobbles would not put a stop to his plan.

Bettiol and Teuns had formed a chase duo, but they had a deficit of almost two minutes on the race leader. Garcia Cortina and Wellens formed a duo further back.

Van der Poel entered the final ten kilometers solo and was continuously looking strong. Teuns and Bettiol were watching eachother while fighting for the remaining podium spots. 

With seven kilometers left the situation had changed for the Bettiol-Teuns chase duo. The second chase group were now almost catching up with the duo and their podium sports were alas in jeopardy. 

Bettiol and Teuns proudly fought on and they still had a fourteen second advantage with four kilometers left. Behind them Luca Mozzato, Naesen, Magnus Sheffield, Skujins, Michael Matthews, Wellens, Bjerg, Antonio Morgado, and Nils Politt were chasing hard.

Van der Poel entered the final two kilometers with an advantage of 01:20 minutes. Bettiol and Teuns were still chasing. They were now just seven seconds ahead of their chasers.

Mathieu van der Poel crossed the finish line solo as winner of Ronde van Vlaanderen 2024 for his Alpecin-Deceuninck cycling team. He stopped after the finish line and lifted his Canyon bike above his head. It is the third time World Champion van der Poel has won Ronde van Vlaanderen.

Bettiol and Teuns were caught. Luca Mozzato finished second, while Michael Matthews took third.

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