March 30, 2022
Dwars door Vlaanderen 2022 – Roeselare – Waregem : 183,7 km
Falling just four days before the Tour of Flanders, Dwars door Vlaanderen offers the Classics specialists one final dress rehearsal before the big performance on Sunday.
March 30, 2022
Dwars door Vlaanderen 2022 – Roeselare – Waregem : 183,7 km
Falling just four days before the Tour of Flanders, Dwars door Vlaanderen offers the Classics specialists one final dress rehearsal before the big performance on Sunday. The race embarks on a very similar route to its bigger brother, but like the E3 Saxo Bank Classic the week before, it waters the route down a little so as not to take anything away from the main Flandrian event. Starting in Roeselare and finishing in Waregem, the race dips in, out and around the Flemish Ardennes, tackling some of the region’s most demanding climbs, like the Taaienberg, Kruisberg and Nokereberg, along the way.
Mathieu van der Poel of Alpecin-Fenix won Dwars door Vlaanderen after a select group of eight riders attacked each other in the final kilometres in a battle of race tactics and raw attacking power.
The Dutchman missed several late attacks but produced a final, decisive surge to join Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) with 1.5km to go and then blew his Belgian rival off his wheel with a long sprint to the line.
Benoot took second, with Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) third and Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal). Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Ben Turner (Ineos Grenadiers) were also in the move that went away over the Berg Ten Houte and Kanarieberg climbs with 70km to race. Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Kelland O’Brien (BikeExchange-Jayco) were in the early break but managed to finish with the attackers but were unable to match Van der Poel in the final kilometre.
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) missed the decisive attack, claiming he was slowed by a crash. He tried to chase with a solo attack but eventually eased up and drove along the chase group. They kept the gap to below a minute for the final 50km but were unable to catch the eight riders left out front.
Pogačar looked strong and comfortable on the rough, often cobbled roads of Flanders but surely learnt a valuable lesson about Classics racing before the Tour of Flanders.
Van der Poel sat on the road as he tried to recover from his huge effort, drinking water to try to calm a cough, but clearly happy to have won in his first Belgian race of the spring after only recently returning to action following his back problems.
“I went pretty deep. I felt good but for sure not the strongest in the leading group,” he admitted.
“I had to close the gap a few times and it really hurt, but I think I rode a perfect final. I already saw that Tiesj was really strong and he deserves to be second as well.
“We went away on Berg Ten Houte and the cooperation was really good. We were all really strong guys and it was almost impossible to catch us.”
Van der Poel’s second victory in four years at Dwars door Vlaanderen makes him an automatic favourite for the Tour of Flanders.
“That’s a different race, especially because of the distance,” he warned. “I was good today, but not great. I hope to have a good rest in the coming days. That will be necessary to follow the best on Sunday.”
How it unfolded
Dwars door Vlaanderen is the final race before the Tour of Flanders and while Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and few other contenders opted out to skip the race to rest up for Sunday, the presence of Van der Poel, Pogačar and Pidcock was always going to inspire an aggressive, hard fought race.
There were five non-starters as illness and injury continued to force teams to shuffle their rosters and lower their expectations. Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious), Jenthe Biermans, Guillaume Boivin (Israel-Premier Tech), Jordi Warlop (B&B Hotels-KTM), Søren Wærenskjold (Uno-X), all failed to start, leaving Israel-Premier Tech with just three riders in the race.
The 183km course is dotted with short Flemish climbs and cobbled sectors and the early break wisely used the flatter opening 50km to go clear and build a lead.
Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Kelland O’Brien (BikeExchange-Jayco), Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB), Aaron Verwilst (Sport Flanders-Baloise) jumped away after a fast opening 30 kilometres. The peloton soon let them gain 5:00 before Alpecin-Fenix, Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and AG2R Citroën lead the chase.
Alpecin-Fenix clearly wanted a hard race for Van der Poel and to expose their rivals. They upped the pace in the peloton with 90km to go, inspiring others to join in.
A crash in the peloton raised the tension even further with Michael Gogl (Alpecin-Fenix), Alexys Brunel (UAE Team Emirates), Mick van Dijke (Jumbo-Visma), Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal) all caught up. Later Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Alexander Edmondson (BikeExchange-Jayco), Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën), and Frederik Frison (Lotto Soudal) also crashed hard due to the speed and dangers of the narrow, twisting, often concrete roads of Flanders.
On the short but steep Berg Ten Houte climb with 70km to race, Turner and Pidcock combined to blow apart the peloton and force a selection. They clearly wanted to take control of the race rather than suffer the other team’s attacks.
Such was their speed and determination over the climb and the subsequent Kanarieberg, a select group got away and immediately began to work together. In the quality selection were Van der Poel, Turner, Pidcock), Benoot, Küng and Campenaerts. Nobody shirked away from working on the front and they soon opened a 20-second gap on the peloton and began to close down the early attack
Pogačar was caught a few places back after being affected by a crash but suddenly set off in pursuit over the top of the Kanarieberg, sensing the attack of the day and the race was escaping him.
He managed to close the gap to just 10 seconds but even a Tour de France winner cannot always produce a Merckx-ian effort against eight strong and united riders. Pogačar was unable to get across to the move and was eventually convinced to ease up and wait for the chase group that had formed behind him.
He had two UAE Team Emirate teammates to help him and at least 30 other riders in the group. However the attackers extended their lead, sweeping up the early break with 48km to go after the Knokteberg climb.
The gap fell to just 25 seconds at one point but then the climbs and cobbled sectors allowed the attackers to impose their strength and expose the weaknesses of the chasers.
Pogačar tried several times to drag a small group clear with Tratnik and Madouas but only forced splits and convinced his rivals to sit on his wheel. His regret at missing the decisive move was stronger than his tactical sense.
Up front several riders from the early break were distanced but Politt and O’Brien managed to hang on, earning the right to sit on and hope for a result.
The eight riders still led by 40 seconds with 20km to race and that marked the start of the attacks for victory.
Van der Poel surged away on the Nokereberg but Turner chased him down, doing everything he could to favour Pidcock. Other attacks were exchanged but were chased down and the eight rode over the final Holstraat all together.
With just eight kilometres to go Campenaerts tucked into his sero position yet again and tried to skuttle clear, turning an 58-tooth chainring on a slight descent. He opened a gap on the rest and tried to time trial to the finish, forcing the other to go deep in pursuit.
Even Van der Poel seemed on the edge of defeat but then suddenly Benoot jumped across the gap, with Pidcock on his wheel. The race was suddenly wide open again, with nobody holding back. Benoot and Pidcock joined Campenaerts with five kilometres to go and then even Van der Poel joined them, with the rest in his slipstream.
Campenaerts made another try and Benoot went with him. Again Van der Poel and Pidcock closed, the Briton using his cornering skills to pull back precious metres.
With just 1.5km to go Benoot went solo again, knowing he had little chance in a sprint finish. He was strong and brave but not enough to distance Van der Peol, who was wise enough to share the work to ensure they reached the finishing straight alone.
From there Van der Poel knew what to do and started his sprint early and even distanced Benoot, who could only sit up, accept second and think about how close he was to victory. However the win went to Van der Poel, who confirmed he is back to his aggressive best and showing he is ready for Sunday’s Tour of Flanders showdown.
1 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 4:05:39
2 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:01
3 Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:05
4 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5 Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
7 Kelland O’Brien (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
8 Ben Turner (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:12
9 Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 0:02:08
10 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
11 Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
12 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:03:48
13 Amaury Capiot (Bel) Arkea-Samsic
14 Jannik Steimle (Ger) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
15 Magnus Sheffield (USA) Ineos Grenadiers
16 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
17 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM
18 Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
19 Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
20 Alexis Gougeard (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
21 Niki Terpstra (Ned) TotalEnergies
22 Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
23 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
24 Johan Jacobs (Swi) Movistar Team
25 Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:04:09
26 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
27 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
28 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
29 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:04:12
30 Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
31 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
32 Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
33 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
34 Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team
35 Clément Russo (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
36 Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange-Jayco
37 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
38 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team DSM
39 Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis
40 Lewis Askey (GBr) Groupama-FDJ
41 Victor Koretzky (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
42 Hugo Houle (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
43 Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
44 Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-KTM
45 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
46 Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
47 Arjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
48 Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM
49 Ward Vanhoof (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
50 Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-EasyPost
51 Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
52 Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
53 Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
54 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
55 Wesley Kreder (Ned) Cofidis
56 Connor Swift (GBr) Arkea-Samsic
57 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
58 Aimé De Gendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
59 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain Victorious
60 Filip Maciejuk (Pol) Bahrain Victorious
61 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
62 André Carvalho (Por) Cofidis
63 Jonas Koch (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
64 Luke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
65 Daniel Oss (Ita) TotalEnergies
66 Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
67 Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
68 Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
69 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
70 Bob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroen Team
71 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers
72 Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
73 Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-EasyPost
74 Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:05:05
75 Julius Johansen (Den) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:05:09
76 Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
77 Cedric Beullens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:05:21
78 Jens Reynders (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:08:43
79 Erik Nordsaeter Resell (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
80 Mathias Norsgaard (Den) Movistar Team
81 Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team
82 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
83 Markus Pajur (Est) Arkea-Samsic
84 Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team
85 Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Movistar Team
86 Christophe Noppe (Bel) Arkea-Samsic
87 Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
88 Julien Morice (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
89 Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
90 Marijn van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
91 Ryan Mullen (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
92 Stijn Steels (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
93 Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM
94 Alexys Brunel (Fra) UAE Team Emirates
95 Daan Hoole (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
96 Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
97 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
98 Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
99 Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
100 Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
101 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
102 Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education-EasyPost
103 Alberto Dainese (Ita) Team DSM
104 Elia Viviani (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
105 Mick van Dijke (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
106 Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
107 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco
108 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
DNF Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
DNF Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNF Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
DNF Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNF David Dekker (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
DNF Alex Colman (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNF Gilles De Wilde (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNF Antoine Raugel (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
DNF Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNF Kim Heiduk (Ger) Ineos Grenadiers
DNF Martin Urianstad (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNF Tord Gudmestad (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNF Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNF Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNF Attilio Viviani (Ita) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNF Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
DNF Laurenz Rex (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNF Julien Vermote (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
DNF Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNF Dries Van Gestel (Bel) TotalEnergies
DNF Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNF Milan Fretin (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNF Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
DNF William Levy (Den) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNF Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNF Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
DNF Michael Gogl (Aut) Alpecin-Fenix
DNF Davide Martinelli (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNF Iñigo Elosegui Momeñe (Spa) Movistar Team
DNF Taj Jones (Aus) Israel-Premier Tech
DNF Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) TotalEnergies
DNF Marco Haller (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Leonardo Basso (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNF Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNF Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Adrien Petit (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNF Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
DNF Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-EasyPost
DNF Jelle Wallays (Bel) Cofidis
DNF Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Alexander Konychev (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNF Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost
DNF Niklas Märkl (Ger) Team DSM
DNF Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Michele Gazzoli (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNF Tobias Bayer (Aut) Alpecin-Fenix
DNF Cees Bol (Ned) Team DSM
DNF Maciej Bodnar (Pol) TotalEnergies
DNF Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNF Campbell Stewart (NZl) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNF Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNF Alex Edmondson (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNF Gianni Moscon (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNF Max Kanter (Ger) Movistar Team
DNS Søren Wærenskjold (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNS Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
DNS Jonathan Milan (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
DNS Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
DNS Jordi Warlop (Bel) B&B Hotels-KTM