Top 20 for brave Van Baarle

07 Apr 2019

Top 20 for brave Van Baarle

Tour of Flanders: Antwerp - Oudenaarde, 266km

Dylan van Baarle put in a superb attacking performance at the Tour of Flanders to finish 18th in the Belgian Momument as Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First) sealed victory.

Van Baarle attacked from an elite lead group and bridged to a three-man breakaway for a crucial 20 kilometres of the 266km test, only to be reeled in with 20 kilometres remaining, which allowed Bettiol to counter. 

The Italian powered away from an elite chase group including Van Baarle, who not only was able to stay in contention with the other pre-race favourites but attacked again in the final kilometre in an effort to reach for a podium spot, only to be swamped before the line in a group sprint.
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Earlier, the action had really kicked off around 170 kilometres into the race on the Muur, where Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) attacked which caused a hectic series of short, sharp breaks and counters which gave birth to a select lead group of around 20 riders which worked together in order to establish a lead.

Van Baarle and Luke Rowe made the cut and were joined soon after by Owain Doull who, along with several others, joined the group two kilometres later, immediately forcing the peloton to chase.

Despite leading by a minute at one point with 88km remaining, three teams were not represented in the lead group and chased the leaders hard to bring the race back together ahead of the Kanarieberg. 

The next key attack saw Sepp VanMarcke (EF Education First) and Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R la Mondiale) form a duo that led until the Kwaremont, when they were caught by Kasper Asgreen (Deuceuninck-Quick-Step) and formed a trio who went clear.

Only Van Baarle was able to catch the trio on the fearsomely steep Koppenberg as he successfully set a steady tempo to move away from the bunch and create a lead group of four. 

As the kilometres passed, the Dutch rider was proven to be the strongest in the group with Asgreen the only rider able to stay with him.  However, Van Baarle was forced to work alone to make the break work and eventually the prospect of a long-range victory was ended on the final ascent of the Kwaremont as Bettiol attacked solo and quickly created an unassailable, Monument-winning lead.  
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Dylan van Baarle

Dylan van Baarle

I am a little bit disappointed, but maybe it’s a good sign for next week.”
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Dylan van Baarle

“With the [injury] recovery in mind, it’s been a really good race. It’s only five weeks since breaking my hand at Opening Weekend, but I wasn’t off the bike for long so I knew that I was in good shape.

“I felt really good, and maybe I got a bit too excited out there, but the guys weren’t working with me, so i had to do it all on my own from the Taaienberg with a headwind - it’s a long way! 

“I am a little bit disappointed, but maybe it’s a good sign for next week.”
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DS Servais Knaven

“The guys did a great ride, but it was a shame there was no real co-operation in the group, it’s a bit frustrating as Asgreen, who finished second, had really good legs and he and Dylan could have stayed away together and sprinted for the win. Overall it was a great ride from the whole team.”
Gianni Moscon in action in the early stages of the race

Gianni Moscon in action in the early stages of the race

Tour of Flanders result

1. Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First) 6:18:49
2. Kasper Asgreen  (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +14"
3. Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) +17"
4. Matthiew Van der Poel (Corendon-CIrcus) s.t.
5. Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) s.t.
18. Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky) +24"
There were fantastic crowds at the team presentation in Antwerp

There were fantastic crowds at the team presentation in Antwerp

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