Germans without a chance in Flanders: Asgreen shocks defending champion at Klassiker

Germans without a chance in Flanders
Asgreen shocks defending champion at classic

The Tour of Flanders is a classic in spring cycling. While the German drivers cannot intervene in the battle for victory, the Danish champion surprises the Dutch champion in Belgium.

Mathieu van der Poel already had the next giant coup in mind, but then Kasper Asgreen shot past the seemingly invulnerable boy prodigy: The Danish champion cracked the Dutch champion in a spectacular finale of the Tour of Flanders and the 105th edition of the Belgian cycling classic won – for the German professionals, on the other hand, there was nothing to get at the rock-hard “Ronde”.

“I felt very good and could rely on my sprint. On the last few meters I just tried to stick with it and somehow get past,” said the 26-year-old Asgreen from the Deceuninck-Quick Step team after winning last year’s winner van der Poel ( Alpecin-Fenix) snatched the second success in Flanders within 168 days on the home straight in Oudenaarde and celebrated the biggest victory of his career: “It was a very tough race, we were both at the limit.”

In October, Van der Poel won the 2020 edition, which had been postponed due to the corona pandemic – 34 years after the triumph of his father Adrie, 59 years after the victory of his grandfather Raymond Poulidor near Milan-Sanremo, another cycling monument of spring.

This time, after a very tough race over 19 notorious Hellinge with the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg as well as seven cobblestone passages, the top star no longer had the best legs. Third place went to Belgian Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroen). Van der Poel’s big rival Wout van Aert (Belgium / Jumbo-Visma) was unable to keep up with the top duo shortly before the end and came in sixth.

The race director makes several disqualifications

In a thrilling race, things got down to business right from the start. The Belgian Otto Vergaerde (Alpecin-Fenix) and the Kazakhs Jewgeni Fedorow (Astana) were disqualified after a jostling after less than 20 kilometers. A little later, Michael Schär (A2r-Citroen) also got hit: the Swiss had thrown away a drinking bottle – the world association UCI is now taking rigorous action in the event of “garbage offenses”. The German professional Nico Denz (Waldshut-Tiengen / DSM) belonged to a larger leading group in this racing phase, which was more than ten minutes ahead, but never had a real chance of victory.

The Tour of Flanders, which was first held in 1913, was the cobblestone highlight of spring after the Paris-Roubaix planned for next Sunday was canceled (to be rescheduled on October 3). The second Belgian monument – Liège-Bastogne-Liège – marks the traditional conclusion of the great one-day classics of the first half of the year on April 25th.