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Mathieu van der Poel took the Tour of Flanders honors on Sunday for his first win in one of cycling's so-called Monuments 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 Alaphilippe forming a three-man breakaway.
After the French rider's accident, the duo was left to fight out the finish, with Dutch star van der Poel emerging the winner in Audenarde 34 years after his father Adrie's name was added to the celebrated race's roll of honor.
In the run-up to the Antwerp start of the race moved from its traditional slot in the cycling calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic all the signs were that this duo held the key to the celebrated race.
When Alaphilippe broke away from the pack 40km from the finish only van der Poel went with him, van Aert missing the move and as a result, had to use up vital energy catching the two leaders on the cobblestones of Taaianberg.
That effort coming after a fall 100km out will have surely taken its toll in the thrilling wheel to wheel sprint for the line.