Van der Poel follows father in Flanders, Alaphilippe crashes into motorbike
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Oudenaarde (Belgium) (AFP) –
Mathieu van der Poel took the Tour of Flanders honours 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 were 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 honour.
In the run up to the Antwerp start of the race moved from its traditional slot in the cycling calender 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.
© 2020 AFP