OUDENAARDE, Belgium (Reuters) – Denmark’s Kasper Asgreen claimed the most important victory of his profession when he beat pre-race favorite Mathieu van der Poel to win the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.
Deceuninck-Fast Step rider Asgreen pipped defending champion Van der Poel of the Netherlands in a two-man dash end after 254.3 kilometres between Antwerp and Oudenaarde.
“I felt good within the final two kilometres and I made a decision to belief my dash. I left Mathieu in entrance and stayed within the wheel and determined once I needed to go,” stated Asgreen, the primary Dane to win the race since Rolf Sorensen 24 years in the past.
“It was a very, actually exhausting race, we have been each on the restrict.”
The Tour of Flanders is the second of 5 Monuments, the foremost one-day races of the elite calendar.
Van der Poel hit a digital wall within the last metres as he was main the dash, nearly coming to a halt and shaking his head as Asgreen sped previous.
Asgreen, considered one of six riders to interrupt away from the primary group with 37km left, attacked 26km from the road and was solely adopted by Van der Poel and Belgian Wout van Aert.
Van der Poel then produced of his trademark brutal assaults within the penultimate hill, dropping Van Aert and Asgreen, just for the Dane to come back again on a flat part.
A sooner sprinter, Van der Poel nonetheless was on an empty tank whereas Asgreen nonetheless had a little bit of power so as to add to his victory within the E3 Saxo Financial institution traditional final month.
Belgian Greg van Avermaet took third place.
Earlier, Swiss Michael Schaer was disqualified for littering outdoors designated areas.
The AG2R-Citroen rider was informed to go away the race by stewards 107 kilometres from the end after he disposed of a bottle the place not permitted.
The sanction got here three days after the brand new Worldwide Biking Union’s rule got here into power.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; Enhancing by Christian Radnedge)