The Italian Alberto Bettiol has surprisingly won the Tour of Flanders. It’s his first victory as a professional cyclist. He finished solo after an attack on the Oude Kwaremont with about 16 kilometers left. Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick Step) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) completed the podium.
In this year’s edition, the Oude Kwaremont was the decisive hill, which the peloton had to conquer three times. With still 160km to go, just before the first time Oude Kwaremont, Niki Terpstra came down in a crash. The defending champion’s Tour of Flanders was over there and then: he was taken to the hospital with a concussion.
After the second time Oude Kwaremont, a group of 4 managed to get away: Sep Vanmarcke, Stijn Vandenbergh, Dylan Van Baarle and Kasper Asgreen. A second group with a lot of big names didn’t let them go far. In that group, Mathieu van der Poel fell quite hard, but he could quickly join again, after a great comeback. First Stijn Vandenbergh, then Sep Vanmarcke were caught. Soon after, Van Baarle and Asgreen were taken back by the chasers as well.
After, Alberto Bettiol timed his attack well: he accelerated on the Oude Kwaremont, with 16 kilometers to go. Nobody was able to follow, so he went solo. There wasn’t a great understanding in the elite group, with among others Sagan, Van Avermaet, Valverde, Van der Poel, Van Aert and Kristoff. Bettiol benefited from this and finished solo in Oudenaarde. Kasper Asgreen skipped away to finish second; behind him, Alexander Kristoff won the sprint for the third place.