Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) claimed today’s Dwars door Vlaanderen, beating Anthony Turgis (Direct Energie) and Bob Jungels (Deceuninck Quick-Step) in a final sprint for the finish in Waregem.
With 65 kilometers to go, Dries De Bondt (Corendon-Circus) attacked off the front of the peloton in hopes of bridging his way to the day’s breakaway group that contained riders like Jonas Koch (CCC), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Ramon Sinkeldam (Groupama-FDJ), Zhandos Bizjigitov (Astana), Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-Scott), Kris Boeckmans (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels) and Mihkel Räim (Israel Cycling Academy).
It wasn’t long before De Bondt, along with Van der Poel, Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck/QuickStep), Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) and Turgis eventually made contact with the breakaway group.
With 50 kilometers to go, Oliveira decided to attack his fellow escapes, quickly opening up a 20-second gap for himself as he made his way up Berg ten Houte.
Back in the peloton, Lotto–Soudal’s Tiesj Benoot initiated an attack, taking some riders along with him that included defending champion Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step). However, the peloton was quick to neutralize Benoot et al’s aggressions.
With 44 kilometers remaining, a nine-rider chase group containing riders like Koch, Sinkeldam, Bizjigitov, Pöstlberger, Hepburn, Boeckmans, Turgis, Cortina and Van der Poel were within a minute of Oliveira.
As the race approached the climb of the Knokteberg, Pöstlberger attacked, quickly making his way to Oliveira with 31 kilometers to go.
With 27 kilometers still to go, Oliveira suffered a mechanical problem, leaving Pöstlberger alone out front.
However, it wasn’t long before both Oliveira and Pöstlberger were caught by the peloton as they hit the sector of cobbles in Varentstraat.
At this point, the race had been spit into two lead groups, with five riders leading a reduced peloton by 20-seconds.
With 17 kilometers left, the leaders were now clinging to a 48-second gap over the peloton, with Benoot pushing the pace.
With just 3 kilometers remaining, the members of the lead group began attacking each other, with Turgis being the first rider to open up his sprint during the closing 500 meters.
But, Van der Poel was able to overhaul his French rival just before the line to seize his first ever WorldTour victory.
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