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Tour of Flanders: Kasper Asgreen outsprints Mathieu van der Poel to claim first monument

Danish champion wins after Mathieu van der Poel sits up in final sprint. Wout van Aert was dropped in the final 20km after fending off a wave of attacks.

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Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) won the Tour of Flanders from a two-up sprint on Sunday.

The Dane stormed into the final 300 meters with  Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) after the pair wrenched themselves clear in the final 17 kilometers of the race.

Van der Poel led the duo into the final kilometer before sprinting first to set up a long drag race to the line. The Dutchman suddenly blew as the two riders drew level, sitting up at 30 meters to go to leave Asgreen to cross the line first, screaming in victory.

“I felt good in the last kilometers,” Asgreen said. “I decided to try and trust my sprint, and going into the last kilometer, I got Mathieu on the front – I decided to just stay on the wheel, so I could decide when we can go. It was a really really hard race, we were both on the limit and a question of the margins in the end.”

Greg van Avermaet (Ag2r-Citroën) won the sprint for third place behind van der Poel.

Van der Poel dropped Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) with a massive acceleration on the final climb of the Oude Kwaremont with 17km remaining.

After marking a wave of rolling attacks from Deceuninck-Quick-Step in the final hours of the race, van Aert fell away from the final trio and looked to crack over the final climb of the Paterberg. The Belgian finished sixth after slipping into a group that chased behind the hard-charging duo of van der Poel and Asgreen.

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) finished in the bunch after the world champ had made a number of attacks to help set up Asgreen. The victory made for Asgreen’s second of the spring campaign after winning E3 Saxo Bank Classic, and marked his biggest win to date.

“It’s been an incredible classics campaign this year and I am so happy to finish it out,” Asgreen said. “The plan was to jump to hit the hilly zone on the second time. We rode a perfect race all day – the guys were incredible, we prepared this race so well, we know every single meter of the course. It’s an incredible team to be a part of.”

Deceuninck-Quick-Step throws wave of attacks to force selection

The second ascent of the Kwaremont at 55km to go saw the first major move after a tense mid-section of the race. Asgreen and van der Poel clipped away after a flurry of attacks on the cobblestone climb, with van Aert left the responsibility for pulling around 20 riders back to form a select group of favorites.

Asgeeen and van der Poel attacked again on the Paterberg just 5km later, with van Aert again left to pull the race back together. Alaphilippe was the next Quick-Step rider to pressure the favorites, punching away on the Koppenberg at 44km remaining.

The first selection was made just as a front group came together again inside the final 40km. Asgreen and van der Poel accelerated over the Taaienberg climb with van Aert and Alaphilippe first to respond and Bahrain-Victorious duo Dylan Teuns and Marco Haller in the wheels. Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie) bridged across from a chase group, which rapidly lost time on the escape move.

The final selection was decided at 25km to go with a surge from Asgreen. The Dane hit out on a tarmac section to pull out van Aert and van der Poel as Alaphilippe waited in the group behind. The trio then rode together toward the final ascent of the Kwaremont as van Aert’s matches started to run out.

Early disqualifications

A number of riders were ejected from the race early on.

Yevgeniy Fedorov (Astana-Premier Tech) and Otto Vergaerde (Alpecin Fenix) were disqualified for a tussle at the front of the bunch in the first hour of racing, and Michael Schär was the next to be ejected. The Ag2r-Citroen workhorse was caught throwing a bidon to fans outside of a designated litter zone. The Swiss rider was pulled from the race shortly afterward for the contravention of UCI’s strict new measures.

Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour des Flandres ME Results

1ASGREEN KasperDeceuninck - Quick Step6:02:12
2VAN DER POEL MathieuAlpecin-Fenix0:00
3VAN AVERMAET GregAG2R Citroën Team0:32
4STUYVEN JasperTrek - Segafredo0:33
5VANMARCKE SepIsrael Start-Up Nation0:47
6VAN AERT WoutTeam Jumbo-Visma0:47
7VERMEERSCH GianniAlpecin-Fenix0:47
8TURGIS AnthonyTeam Total Direct Energie0:47
9SÉNÉCHAL FlorianDeceuninck - Quick Step0:47
10VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers0:47
11LAPORTE ChristopheCofidis, Solutions Crédits0:47
12BENOOT TiesjTeam DSM0:49
13CLAEYS DimitriTeam Qhubeka ASSOS2:15
14BURGHARDT MarcusBORA - hansgrohe2:15
15SAGAN PeterBORA - hansgrohe2:15
16VAN POPPEL DannyIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux2:15
17LAMPAERT YvesDeceuninck - Quick Step2:15
18KRISTOFF AlexanderUAE-Team Emirates2:15
19VAN ASBROECK TomIsrael Start-Up Nation2:15
20HAUSSLER HeinrichBahrain - Victorious2:15
21MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange2:15
22POLITT NilsBORA - hansgrohe2:15
23GARCÍA CORTINA IvánMovistar Team2:15
24HOFSTETTER HugoIsrael Start-Up Nation2:15
25WELLENS TimLotto Soudal2:15
26BIERMANS JentheIsrael Start-Up Nation2:15
27WALSCHEID MaxTeam Qhubeka ASSOS2:15
28BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education - Nippo2:15
29RUSSO ClémentTeam Arkéa Samsic2:15
30DEGENKOLB JohnLotto Soudal2:15
31LIVYNS ArjenBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB2:15
32VAN GESTEL DriesTeam Total Direct Energie2:15
33NAESEN OliverAG2R Citroën Team2:15
34DE GENDT AiméIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux2:15
35TEUNS DylanBahrain - Victorious2:15
36BARGUIL WarrenTeam Arkéa Samsic2:20
37BYSTRØM Sven ErikUAE-Team Emirates2:20
38CAMPENAERTS VictorTeam Qhubeka ASSOS2:20
39MADOUAS ValentinGroupama - FDJ2:20
40HALLER MarcoBahrain - Victorious2:24
41PIDCOCK ThomasINEOS Grenadiers2:35
42ALAPHILIPPE JulianDeceuninck - Quick Step2:35
43GOGL MichaelTeam Qhubeka ASSOS2:52
44KÜNG StefanGroupama - FDJ3:19
45NORSGAARD MathiasMovistar Team3:19
46LEMOINE CyrilB&B Hotels p/b KTM3:19
47BEULLENS CédricSport Vlaanderen - Baloise4:00
48BARTHE CyrilB&B Hotels p/b KTM4:00
49DE BONDT DriesAlpecin-Fenix4:00
50DEWULF StanAG2R Citroën Team4:00
51STANNARD RobertTeam BikeExchange4:00
52GENIETS KevinGroupama - FDJ4:00
53TOUZÉ DamienAG2R Citroën Team4:00
54HAYTER EthanINEOS Grenadiers4:00
55COLBRELLI SonnyBahrain - Victorious4:00
56OLIVEIRA RuiUAE-Team Emirates4:00
57TRENTIN MatteoUAE-Team Emirates9:00
59THEUNS EdwardTrek - Segafredo9:00
60WILLEMS ThimoSport Vlaanderen - Baloise9:00
61ALLEGAERT PietCofidis, Solutions Crédits9:00
62VAN HOOYDONCK NathanTeam Jumbo-Visma9:00
63DENZ NicoTeam DSM9:00
64GIBBONS RyanUAE-Team Emirates9:00
65LE GAC OlivierGroupama - FDJ9:00
66HOLLMANN JuriMovistar Team9:00
67SERRANO GonzaloMovistar Team9:00
68WALLAYS JelleCofidis, Solutions Crédits9:00
69WIRTGEN LucBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB9:00
70PERRY BenjaminAstana - Premier Tech9:00
71PAASSCHENS MathijsBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB9:00
72GOŁAŚ MichałINEOS Grenadiers9:00
73SWIFT ConnorTeam Arkéa Samsic9:00
74VAN POPPEL BoyIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux9:00
75VAN LERBERGHE BertDeceuninck - Quick Step9:00
76WIŚNIOWSKI ŁukaszTeam Qhubeka ASSOS9:00
77LOUVEL MatisTeam Arkéa Samsic9:00
78JACOBS JohanMovistar Team9:00
79HOULE HugoAstana - Premier Tech9:00
80VANENDERT JelleBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB9:00
81GRUZDEV DmitriyAstana - Premier Tech9:00
82BAUER JackTeam BikeExchange9:00
83MAS LluísMovistar Team9:00
84BOASSON HAGEN EdvaldTeam Total Direct Energie9:00
85VLIEGEN LoïcIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux9:00
86TERPSTRA NikiTeam Total Direct Energie9:00
87DURBRIDGE LukeTeam BikeExchange9:00
88OSS DanielBORA - hansgrohe9:00
89BISSEGGER StefanEF Education - Nippo9:00
90RICKAERT JonasAlpecin-Fenix9:00
91ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana - Premier Tech13:00
92WYNANTS MaartenTeam Jumbo-Visma13:00
93DEKKER DavidTeam Jumbo-Visma13:00
94EENKHOORN PascalTeam Jumbo-Visma13:00
95DE BACKER BertB&B Hotels p/b KTM13:00
96DE KORT KoenTrek - Segafredo13:00
97ROOSEN TimoTeam Jumbo-Visma13:00
98BOIVIN GuillaumeIsrael Start-Up Nation13:00
99SIEBERG MarcelBahrain - Victorious13:00
100LUDVIGSSON TobiasGroupama - FDJ13:00
101VAN DER HOORN TacoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux13:00
102BACKAERT FrederikB&B Hotels p/b KTM13:00
103NOPPE ChristopheTeam Arkéa Samsic13:00
104BODNAR MaciejBORA - hansgrohe13:00
105LAENGEN Vegard StakeUAE-Team Emirates13:00
106KREDER WesleyIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux13:00
107MCLAY DanielTeam Arkéa Samsic13:00
108VANSPEYBROUCK PieterIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux13:00
109LANGEVELD SebastianEF Education - Nippo13:00
110VAN DEN BOSSCHE FabioSport Vlaanderen - Baloise13:00
111CARVALHO AndreCofidis, Solutions Crédits13:00
112WRIGHT FredBahrain - Victorious13:00
113GAUDIN DamienTeam Total Direct Energie13:00

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.