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Confusion and chaos at Dwars door Vlaanderen as race stopped twice

Mathieu van der Poel takes a famous win in Belgium

In a scene similar to that at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad a month ago, the men’s WorldTour race of Dwars door Vlaanderen had to be stopped twice as it got too close to the women’s edition. In Omloop Het Nieuwsblad the roles were reversed. Mathieu van der Poel earned his first WorldTour victory in the men’s edition.

A crash in the women’s race caused a slowdown that allowed the men’s breakaway to get too close. The confusion was exacerbated by–according to Trek-Segafredo–an ambulance that had gone down a street the wrong way.

With 75-km to go the men’s race was halted, but at the restart the breakaway ended up behind the peloton, causing fugitive Nelson Oliveira (Portugal/Movistar) to gesticulate wildly. Once more the race had to be neutralized so the breakaway could reestablish its 2:25 gap.

However, even when this was accomplished, Austrian escapee Lukas Pöstlberger somehow missed out. After asking for a tow from an official race moto and getting refused, he found a friendly media moto that brought him to the front of the race in exchange for an interview.


The women’s race, not part of the Women’s WorldTour, saw Trek-Segafredo’s Ellen van Dijk repeat as champion.

Cyclocross crossover Mathieu van der Poel of wildcard team Corendon-Circus won from a five-up sprint, his third victory of the seaon. Afterwards, van der Poel played down his chances in Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, citing its 267-km length as a larger obstacle.