Van der Poel: Van Aert and I did most of the work

Belgian Wout Van Aert of Team JumboVisma and Dutch Mathieu van der Poel of AlpecinFenix pictured in action during the E3 Saxo Bank Classic cycling race 2039km from and to Harelbeke Friday 26 March 2021 BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM Photo by DIRK WAEMBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images
Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) at E3 Saxo Bank Classic (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The beauty of cycling is that sometimes, even the best riders in the world can't prevail over superior tactics. And so it was in the E3 Saxo Bank Classic in Harelbeke, where Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), so frequently on the giving end of the punishment, had to bow to Deceuninck-QuickStep on Friday.

Kasper Asgreen, who first attacked 67 kilometres from the line and, being caught after a 54km solo effort, attacked again and held off the six-man chasing group that contained two of his teammates - defending champion Zdenek Stybar and Florian Sénéchal - to take the victory. Even with AG2R Citroën's Greg Van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen and Ineos Grenadiers' Dylan van Baarle in the group, Van der Poel, couldn't break the Belgian team's blockade.

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