Five conclusions after the Tour of Flanders 2024

Five conclusions after the Tour of Flanders 2024
Five conclusions after the Tour of Flanders 2024
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Monday April 1, 2024 at 7:50 PM

With a masterful solo, Mathieu van der Poel achieved his third victory in the Tour of Flanders. He rode alone in the lead for more than 45 kilometers. His team Alpecin-Deceuninck was in control from start to finish. Visma | Lease a Bike and Lidl-Trek were unable to hold a fist against the world champion after the setbacks in Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Five conclusions after the Tour of Flanders.

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Alpecin-Deceuninck made the right choice for a work team

In a hurry, no Jasper Philipsen in the Tour of Flanders. He focuses on the Scheldeprijs and Paris-Roubaix, two races (first and second in the results last year) where he has more chances. The vacant spot in the selection was assigned to Axel Laurance. An extra workhorse. A good decision, it turned out.

It was Laurance who attacked briefly after the Kappelleberg (111 km from the finish). With key roles for Silvain Dillier (first 100 km.), Oscar Riesebeek (first time Oude Kwaremont) and then Soren Kragh Andersen and Gianni Vermeersch. Not Visma | Lease a Bike or Lidl-Trek, but Alpecin-Deceunick was the strongest team on the day it had to be.

Pedersen and Visma | throw their forces into action early Lease a Bike can be expensive

Mads Pedersen started his Tour with major doubts. How well would he have recovered after the hard fall in Dwars Door Vlaanderen. The answer? Much better than he might have thought. He jumped early with Matteo Jorgenson on the Wolvenberg, more than a hundred kilometers from the finish. On the Molenberg he then took the initiative for a major explosion of power.

Why so early? “I didn’t feel good,” he said afterwards. An honest answer, but if he had waited with his effort, he would have still had some energy left deeper in the final. Also Visma | Lease a Bike fired their powder early on. They had to do something MVDP to isolate. Dylan van Baarle, Tiesj Benoot and Jorgenson tried it. But the world champion was unstoppable. Jorgenson came the furthest. He came second on top of the Koppenberg, on his bike! He was the last rider to see MVDP to leave. In the frantic attempt he went down fighting. A 31st place as a result. Despite three bike changes, Benoot finished as his best teammate in fifteenth place.

UAE Emirates misses a finisher

It was impressive how UAE Emirates was represented in the final of the Tour of Flanders with four riders in the group of eleven riders chasing Mathieu van der Poel. Nils Politt, Mikkel Bjerg, Antonio Morgado and Tim Wellens contributed to the final. “We could even go around, because everyone was at their limit. Nils rode a good sprint,” analyzed Wellens, who saw the numerical majority rewarded with a bronze medal for Politt.

It is not the first time this spring that UAE Emirates has reached the final with several pawns. However, the riders never got into a position where they could claim a victory. Something that Tadej Pogacar was of course able to capitalize on last year. It is clear that the Slovenian is missed. By extension, the team lacks a real finisher who can take the lead in the final.

MVDP’s biggest ‘opponent’ in Paris-Roubaix is ​​Jasper Philipsen

When Mathieu van der Poel pushes the accelerator all the way, no one can follow. We saw this statement confirmed on both the second passage of the Oude Kwaremont and the Koppenberg. Anyone who wants to beat Mathieu van der Poel will have to do something different.

However, in Paris-Roubaix there is an added factor that can be either beneficial or detrimental for Van der Poel. Jasper Philipsen has already benefited greatly from Van der Poel’s services in his career. For example, world champion Philipsen piloted to several stage victories in the Tour, and in Milan-San Remo he proved to be an exemplary teammate in the absolute final. If Van der Poel does not get rid of his competitors in time on the cobblestones of Roubaix, he could be forced into such a harness again. Especially because the confidence in his own sprint will not have grown since Ghent-Wevelgem.

The Big Six stand out far above the rest

It is once again an observation that six riders dominate contemporary cycling and monuments in particular. Although none of the Big Six won Milan-San Remo, it was Tadej Pogacar and Van der Poel who determined the ultimate denouement. With a long, masterful solo, MVDP also claims this Round. We have to wait until Remco Evenepoel and to a lesser extent Primoz Roglic try their luck on the Flemish cobblestones. Only in Liège-Bastogne-Liège will we see Van der Poel, Pogacar and Evenepoel compete against each other. This week Evenepoel, Roglic and Vingegaard will cross swords in the Tour of the Basque Country.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: conclusions Tour Flanders

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