DIRECT. Tour of Flanders 2024: van der Poel bides his time, follow the race

DIRECT Tour of Flanders 2024 van der Poel bides his

Double winner of the event, Mathieu van der Poel advances as a huge favorite for the Tour of Flanders, in the absence of Tadej Pogacar and Wout van Aert.

13:46 – Full throttle!

This 108th edition is being contested at a very fast pace since the first 3h25′ of the race were covered at an average speed of 46 km/h. Since leaving Antwerp at 10 a.m., the runners have covered 155 km.

13:44 – In the Kappelberg (116 km)

The escapees attacked the Kappelberg passage, the road of which is narrow. Behind, the peloton screws up and continues to get closer at 2’40”.

1:43 p.m. – Madouas on land (117 km)

Thanks to a narrowing of the road, Madouas is caught in a fall at low speed. The French champion leaves very quickly and hangs on to the peloton.

1:40 p.m. – Madouas is ambitious

Interviewed in L’Equipe, Valentin Madouas did not shy away from his ambitions for this 108th edition of the Tour of Flanders. “Physically, I have never been better than now. I am stronger than two years ago when I scored 3 (…) I am aiming to win. I think I am capable of winning”explained the French champion.

1:38 p.m. – Change of pace (120 km)

The peloton clearly accelerated following the fall which involved eight riders. The gap has actually disappeared since in 5 kilometers, it went from 4 minutes to 3.

1:31 p.m. – The disorganized peloton (125 km)

Following the fall that occurred a few kilometers earlier, the peloton lost some elements and became slightly disorganized. Teams are taking advantage of this to try to pick up the pace. Faces are more focused.

1:30 p.m. – Big fall in the peloton (128 km)

A spectator caused a fall within the peloton. Eight riders were sent to the ground including Ben Swift, William Levy Blume, Riley Sheehan, Guillaume Boivin, Nico Denz and Floris de Tier.

13:21 – Acceleration in the peloton (133 km)

A teammate of Mathieu van der Poel accelerates at the head of the peloton. The road makes the group stretch. Alaphilippe trails at the back, like Madouas or Girmay. No breakage to report.

1:20 p.m. – Mohoric a foot on land (134 km)

The road narrows as you approach Old Kwaremont and a fall occurs at the back of the peloton. Mohoric falls into the grass on the left and derails. He leaves without any harm.

13:18 – Boasson Hagen abandons (135 km)

Norwegian Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale veteran Evald Boasson Hagen has abandoned the 108th edition of the Tour of Flanders.

13:16 – Van der Poel recovers (136 km)

While he was quietly lounging at the end of the peloton since the start of the Tour of Flanders, Mathieu van der Poel made the effort on the left of the road to move up the group and position himself ideally before entering Old Kwaremont.

1:16 p.m. – Be careful on the shoulders!

The escapees reached Old Kwaremont. If the pavement is dry in the center of the road, the shoulders are very greasy and wet. Runners will have to be very careful.

1:12 p.m. – The weather has clouded over

While accompanying the runners at the start of the race, the sun plays hide and seek as they approach Old Kwaremont. The peloton takes advantage of the width of the road to advance together. The tension will increase now.

1:04 p.m. – Change of bike at the front (144 km)

Approaching Old Kwaremont, the Dutchman David Dekker dismounts on the right of the road to change bikes. His mechanic is responsive and his stop is very short, which allows him to leave close to his seven escape companions.

13:02 – The passage of a train

The escapees were stopped at a level crossing due to the passage of a train. Around forty seconds were spent but the peloton should also be stopped for this period of time to avoid a disadvantage for the leading men.

1:00 p.m. – Old Kwaremont approaches (145 km)

The runners have just passed through the streets of Oudenaarde where the finish will be judged at the end of the afternoon. They are only about ten kilometers away from reaching Old Kwaremont, the first of the 17 cobbled mountains of the Tour of Flanders.

12:53 – Van der Poel at the back (152 km)

Mathieu van der Poel hangs out in the cars at the back, level with his sports director. The world champion took off his long-sleeved tracksuit. The double winner of the Tour of Flanders remains calm while at the front of the peloton, his teammate Dillier has been put back on the board. The gap increased and crossed 4 minutes for the first time.

12:48 – Two teams at the front of the peloton (156 km)

Two teams took over from Alpecin-Deceuninck at the head of the peloton. On the right of the road, Elia Viviani drives the Ineos-Grenadiers train while in the center, we find the Belgian team of Team Flanders – Baloise. The peloton moves between 3’30” and 4’00” behind the eight escapees.

12:31 – First paved passage (167 km)

The leading men have reached the first paved sector of this 2024 Tour of Flanders. This is the Lippenhivestraat. The portion is wide and regular with good quality pavement. The second one, the Paddestraat, will arrive immediately,

12:22 – The gap increases (172 km)

The eight escapees continue to increase their lead over the peloton. This reaches almost four minutes.

12:18 – A successor to Durand?

If Julian Alaphilippe and Arnaud Démare have won Milan – San Remo and Thibault Pinot the Tour of Lombardy over the last 10 years, the Tour of Flanders escapes the recent tricolor conquests. We have to go back to 1992 and the victory of Jacky Durand to find traces of the last French success in the Ronde.

12:16 – Another 47 kilometers (181 km)

For this 108th edition, the Tour of Flanders presents a route full of cobbled mountains. The first crossing of Old Kwaremont will take place in 47 kilometers. Here are the details of the program that awaits the runners:

Paterberg (400 m, km 257.5)

There will also be six paved sectors:

12:11 – Under the sun

The weather is relatively good for the riders at the start of the Tour of Flanders since the sun is peeking through the Belgian sky. However, it should be more overcast and humid at the end of the race and a light rain could even accompany the participants in the finale in Oudenaarde.

12:03 – Race update

The runners set off from Antwerp around 10 a.m. this Sunday morning. After 75 km of racing, there are eight riders at the front: Bert van Lerberghe, David Dekker, Stanislaw Aniolkowski, Damien Touzé, Luke Durbridge, Elmar Reinders, Lionel Taminiaux and Jelle Vermoote. They are 3’35” ahead of a peloton led by Alpecin-Deceuninck.

12:00 – Welcome

Hello everyone and welcome to follow the 108th edition of the Tour of Flanders live.