Mathieu van der Poel wins Dwars door Vlaanderen.

As De Ronde looms, Van der Poel makes a statement at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Van der Poel puts his form on display with a second career Dwars door Vlaanderen victory.

by Dane Cash

photography by Getty Images

A day after saying that he was feeling well-prepared for Sunday’s Tour of Flanders despite his late start to the season, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) provided evidence of his form with an emphatic victory at Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen.

The 184 km race came down to a thrilling finale as a select group of contenders worked their way clear of the pack and then battled each other in a flurry of attacks and counterattacks. Van der Poel put in the work to chase down several moves himself.

In the end, Van der Poel and Tiesj Benoot – whose Jumbo-Visma squad looks like the team to beat so far this Classics campaign – powered away inside the last 2 km. There would be no catching them from there, and there would be no stopping Van der Poel on the finishing straight.

The 27-year-old Dutchman cruised to a convincing win in Waregem, while Benoot settled for runner-up honors a second later. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) arrived five seconds behind Van der Poel to claim third on the day.

For Van der Poel, the win is an encouraging signpost ahead of the Tour of Flanders. Although he has not put in as many race days so far this year as he might have liked, Van der Poel now has two victories on the season already, and there’s little doubt that he will be in the mix as he takes aim at his biggest Classics goals.

“I wasn’t sure I was the strongest in the lead group. I was fine but not necessarily at my top,” Van der Poel said. “I hope to be on Sunday.”

Dwars door Vlaanderen - A travers la Flandre ME (1.UWT) Roeselare → Waregem

VAN DER POEL Mathieu Alpecin-Fenix
BENOOT Tiesj Jumbo-Visma
PIDCOCK Thomas INEOS Grenadiers
CAMPENAERTS Victor Lotto Soudal
POLITT Nils BORA - hansgrohe
KÜNG Stefan Groupama - FDJ
O'BRIEN Kelland Team BikeExchange - Jayco
TURNER Ben INEOS Grenadiers
TRATNIK Jan Bahrain - Victorious
POGAČAR Tadej UAE Team Emirates

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