Cycling News

Flanders Wrap: Van der Poel, Koppenberg Steal the Show


Post-Flanders sleep is the best. For us… I have some experiences on both sides. At home, it comes after a day where I’ve been up since 4, and probably gone for a ride. On the two occasions I’ve been in Belgium, it’s the day we don’t need to do anything. The Sportive is the day before Flanders, and Sunday is busy from the jump. Monday, you leave that one open. Even for the riders it’s largely a day to spin out the legs, so there is no hurry to get going (unless, like yesterday’s winner, Alpecin’s Mathieu van der Poel, you’ve decided to train all week in Spain). And you know they all slept like rocks.

Paris-Roubaix is different for them, almost everyone is off to Zaventem in the morning, if they haven’t already jetted off at night after the race. Paris-Roubaix is always different.

Photo by TOM GOYVAERTS/Belga/AFP via Getty Images

Over Early

Yesterday’s race was the most lopsided affair since… when? Boonen in 2012 maybe? No, he won a three-up sprint before his legendary Paris-Roubaix solo. For a massive gap, you’d have to go all the way back to Eddy Merckx in 1969, who won by more than five minutes. Mathieu van der Poel won yesterday by just over a minute, after shedding about half of his lead in the finale where he was out of gas, and his margin was slightly less than what Fabian Cancellara won by in both 2010 and 2013.

Van der Poel’s win is high in audacity too, going from 43-ish km out. That mark is topped by Philippe Gilbert’s 2017 win where he launched from 55km, in the second running of the Oude Kwaremont — the same place where van der Poel toyed with launching but thought better of it, for a few minutes. Similarly, Stijn Devolder won from distance in 2008, first from 40k with a few friends and then 25k alone. In Gilbert’s and Devolder’s cases, though, the audacity of their attacks was tempered by the fact that they were both viewed as secondary options for their team, and both won by rather small margins.

Some (bettors) would say the race was over before it started. I can’t round up odds after the fact, but have heard that nobody was more than a two star favorite (per the Cycling Podcast) while van der Poel was at five stars. Was anyone more favored than +1000, besides the winner? Pedersen maybe at 8/1?

[N.b., I refer to gambling sometimes not because I do it, or recommend it at all — I…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Podium Cafe – All Posts…