Mathieu van der Poel wins Dwars Door Vlaanderen from the breakaway
Van der Poel outsprints breakaway cohorts with a dominating performance
The 74th edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen went from Roeselare to Waregem over a distance of 182.2 km.
The parcours consisted of a combination of eight difficult cobbled sectors and eleven hellingen. It was only after 50 km that a breakaway of eight riders was able to form including
However, before they hit the Kluisberg, the race was neutralised, which produced some chaos in the main field.
Several minutes later, after the route was clear again, the breakaway companions were able to re-commence racing with their original advantage in hand. After around 100 km of relatively flat racing, the climbing began in earnest, and the hellingen followed one after another. A chasing group took the opportunity to attack on the Knokteberg and put down the hammer in pursuit of the leading group.
In the meantime, N. Oliveira launched an attack from the breakaway and proceeded to lead the race solo. Over the next few climbs, the advantage of the leaders continued to dwindle, and the chasers were able to successfully bridge the gap.
Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora) was the next to put in an attack, this time on the second ascent of the Knokteberg, and he was able to catch up to Oliveira. The Austrian, however, was caught again in a matter of a few kilometres, and the 5 breakaway riders; Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal), Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) and Anthony Turgis (Direct Energie) rode together towards Waregem.
Back in the peloton, the riders from Groupama – FDJ rode hard to close the gap, but their efforts had to remain in vain, with the five leading riders working well together to keep the peloton at bay until the finish line.
In Waregem it came down to a sprint between 5 leaders, Anthony Turgis (Direct Energie) attacked, but Mathieu van der Poel countered, to easily take the sprint.
Jempy Drucker hit the deck in the last corner and had to be taken to hospital. He is conscious, and the team now awaits the results of further examinations.
Mathieu van der Poel said "I had to make sure that nobody came from behind, I just looked when Turgis went. I felt there was a sprint in my legs and I just finished it off. It was an instinctive moment really Garcia Cortina reacted and I went with him. I think it was a perfect moment to anticipate everyone else. It wasn't a special moment when I crashed the other week [at Nokere Koerse] it's a very hard race. This was a very hard race too, only 180km today but this Sunday we go nearly 100km more. I don't see myself as a favourite for Sunday yet, we'll see what happens."
VIDEO: 2019 Dwars Door Vlaanderen Highlights
2019 Dwars Door Vlaanderen Top 10
1 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus
2 Anthony Turgis (Fra) Direct Energie
3 Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-QuickStep
4 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
7 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
8 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
9 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
10 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida