Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Dutch Mathieu van der Poel of Alpecin-Fenix and Belgian Wout Van Aert compete during the Tour of Flanders cycling race on Oct. 18, 2020.

DAVID STOCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel beat Belgian rider Wout van Aert in a photo finish to win the the Tour of Flanders for the first time on Sunday, while contender Julian Alaphilippe crashed out near the end after hitting a motorbike.

Van der Poel and van Aert sprinted to the line with under 200 metres left and Van der Poel beat his former Cyclo-cross rival by less than half a wheel’s length.

After finding out he’d emulated his father Adrie van der Poel, who won the race in 1986, he raised his bike over his head and shouted in delight. His maternal grandfather was the late Raymond Poulidor, who finished on the Tour de France podium eight times without ever winning.

Story continues below advertisement

Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff was third, just like last year.

Alaphilippe was in contention until he hit a motorbike 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the end. The French rider was behind Van Aert and Van Der Poel when he appeared not to see the motorbike slowing down to his right.

He hit it with his arm and span off his bike, then lay screaming on the ground as he clutched his right arm. Medics tended to him and he was soon sitting upright and seemed conscious.

First held in 1913, the race in the Flemish Ardennes region is also known as De Ronde and is one of five classics along with Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro di Lombardia.

It features up to 19 short but punishing climbs — such as the Paterberg and Koppenberg — and is one of the two classics with cobblestone sections along with Paris-Roubaix, called off this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Alaphilippe was among the favourites after capturing the world title and then winning the Belgian semi-classic at Brabantse Pijl.

Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet did not take part after crashing at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege race and sustaining several fractures.

Story continues below advertisement

Because of COVID-19, organizers took the unique step of not releasing race information in a concerted effort to discourage fans from attending.

“Given the current health situation in Belgium, we as an organisation call on you to follow the race at home,” read a brief statement on the race’s website. “It was therefore decided not to release any information about the course.”

Still, a handful watched in places along the shortened route of 244 kilometres (151 miles) — compared to 267 (166) last year — from Anvers to Oudenaarde in eastern Flanders.

Shortly after the halfway point, the Milan-San Remo winner Van Aert was one of several riders caught in a crash. But he was soon back on his bike and catching up with the pack.

After a breakaway group of six riders was caught about 50 kilometres from the end, Alaphilippe started to increase the speed with Van der Poel and Van Aert alongside him.

Follow related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies