Overview

Strong field of competitors challenges Van der Poel in Tour of Flanders

30 March 2021

On Sunday 4 April the 105th edition of the Tour of Flanders will kick off in Antwerp. Many big names made Flanders' Finest their goal and are eager to keep defending champion Mathieu van der Poel from his second victory in a row. Check out the start list here.

Van der Poel can count on the presence of his teammate Gianni Vermeersch and the support of Belgian champion Dries De Bondt. The competition will include his eternal rival Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), who lost out to the Dutchman in a thrilling sprint in October.  

The Belgian Deceuninck - Quick-Step is counting on that other rider who’s hot everywhere right now, world champion Alaphilippe. The Frenchman is part of a formation to get excited about together with Lampaert, Stybar, Asgreen and Ballerini, winner of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. At Lotto Soudal Tim Wellens and John Degenkolb are the frontrunners.

Belgian favorites

It remains to be seen if Greg Van Avermaet can finally win his dream race. Together with his best friend Oliver Naesen he will defend the colours of AG2R Citroën Team. At Trek-Segafredo we find Stuyven, winner of Milan-San Remo, together with Pedersen and Theuns on the start list. Sep Vanmarcke is one of the other Belgian favourites, racing for the Israel Start-Up Nation team.  

There are also many interesting duos on the start list. For UAE Team Emirates, Matteo Trentin joins forces with Alexander Kristoff, who won Flanders’ Finest in 2015. Tiesj Benoot forms a tandem with Søren Kragh Andersen at Team DSM and INEOS Grenadiers is counting on the Pidcock - Kwiatkowski duo. We are also looking forward to the performances of leaders Fuglsang (Astana - Premier Tech), Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious), Küng (Groupama - FDJ) and Matthews (Team BikeExchange). 

Finally, there are some former winners on the start list as well. Alberto Bettiol, winner in 2019, represents EF Education-Nippo. At Bora - hansgrohe they put all their eggs in the basket of Peter Sagan, who cheered in Oudenaarde in 2016. Niki Terpstra did the same in 2018. The Total Direct Energie frontman is joining forces with Boasson Hagen and Turgis. Check out the entire list, which remains subject to the COVID-19 protocol, below.

The countdown to Sunday 4 April has really begun now! On that day we will find out who will succeed Mathieu van der Poel this year.

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