Feature photo courtesy of betinniphoto.net, others as indicated

Mathieu van der Poel won the Tour of Flanders yesterday (18/10) marked by world champion Julian Alaphilippe’s heavy fall after colliding with a motorbike. Van der Poel had slipped away from the peloton with his great rival Wout van Aert and Julian forming a three-man breakaway. After the world champion’s accident, the duo was left to fight out the finish, with Dutch Van der Poel emerging the winner in Oudenaarde, 34 years after his father Adrie winning the famous classic. When Alaphilippe broke away from the pack 40km from the finish only van der Poel went with him, van Aert missed the move and as a result, had to use up vital energy catching the two leaders on the cobblestones of Taaianberg. Wout’s effort out took its toll in the thrilling wheel to wheel sprint for the line. (Image courtesy of Sporza Bel)

1 VAN DER POEL Mathieu Alpecin-Fenix 5:43:17
2 VAN AERT Wout Team Jumbo-Visma @s/t
3 KRISTOFF Alexander UAE-Team Emirates 0:08
4 TURGIS Anthony Team Total Direct Energie @s/t
5 LAMPAERT Yves Deceuninck – Quick Step ,,
6 CLAEYS Dimitri Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ,,
7 NAESEN Oliver AG2R La Mondiale ,,
8 VAN BAARLE Dylan INEOS Grenadiers ,,
9 DEGENKOLB John Lotto Soudal ,,
10 BENOOT Tiesj Team Sunweb ,,

2 Tour of Flanders winners in one family…What son Mathieu does today, father Adrie Van der Poel did in 1986. Other fathers would immediately become emotional, not so in the Van der Poel family. “Well, you shouldn’t overdo it either”, father Adrie responds laconically. “I am happy for Matje. It’s fantastic what he does. But it’s not like I’m shedding a tear here. It is also not the first time that he wins where I once won before him. Cyclo-cross World Championships, Brabantse Pijl, Amstel Gold Race, and now also the Tour of Flanders, he is slowly eating my entire record” (Photo courtesy of “Het Nieuwsblad”)

“Riders always look for the shortest route,” said the team manager from Quickstep “That bike must have been on the outside, that person does not do that on purpose but he had no business there! Julian will never get such a chance as a world champion again, Alaphilippe could have added another monument to his list of achievements, he was the best in the race. I would have liked to see it in the sprint as in Milan-Sanremo he loses with a minimal difference to Van Aert, but after four bicycle changes before” (Photo courtesy of “Het Nieuwsblad”)

Mathieu van der Poel was hugged after the finish by girlfriend Roxanne Bertels. She followed the Tour together with Corine Poulidor, Mathieu’s mother. “This is a dream and the icing on the cake for all his hard work”, she responded in front of the cameras of VTM. “This is so much for him, we have seen Mathieu in five different places, and a half an hour before the finish we drove to Oudenaarde, and was nail-biting until the very last second, it was a very nice duel between Wout and Mathieu, and the victory is absolutely deserved, I really could not have dreamed it better, this is fantastic. This does something to a person. Mathieu now has a period of rest, he will enjoy it very much. But hopefully, we will celebrate this at home first (Photo courtesy of Belga)

Mates after contrary to gossip in newspapers (Photo courtesy of Patrick Brunt)