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Cancellara’s Classics column: Attack might be Mathieu van der Poel’s best form of defence in chaotic Tour of Flanders

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Everything we thought we knew about the Tour of Flanders has changed over the last week. After E3 Saxo Classic and Gent-Wevelgem, everybody had an idea of how the Ronde might play out. It was clear that Mathieu van der Poel was going to be the favourite, but we expected Wout van Aert would be in the mix too, and we could see that Lidl-Trek had the strength in numbers to make the race very interesting.

After that crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders suddenly looks very different. Wout is out, and that was the headline news, but Lidl-Trek were also badly affected. Jasper Stuyven, who looked so good at Harelbeke, is out of the Ronde, and so is Alex Kirsch, while Mads Pedersen also fell.

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