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Van der Poel wins Antwerp Port Epic

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Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel of AlpecinFenix celebrates after winning the Antwerp Port Epic cycling race 183km in and around Antwerp on September 12 2021 Belgium OUT Photo by DAVID STOCKMAN Belga AFP Belgium OUT Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBelgaAFP via Getty Images

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) wins the Antwerp Port Epic (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Dutch Mathieu van der Poel of AlpecinFenix celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the Antwerp Port Epic cycling race 183km in and around Antwerp Sunday 12 September 2021 BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) wins the Antwerp Port Epic (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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LR Dutch Taco van der Hoorn of Intermarche WantyGobert Materiaux Dutch Mathieu van der Poel of AlpecinFenix and Belgian Tim Merlier of AlpecinFenix pose on the podium after the Antwerp Port Epic cycling race 183km in and around Antwerp on September 12 2021 Belgium OUT Photo by DAVID STOCKMAN Belga AFP Belgium OUT Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBelgaAFP via Getty Images

Taco van der Hoorn, Mathieu van der Poel and Tim Merlier on the podium (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Dutch Mathieu van der Poel of AlpecinFenix and Belgian Tim Merlier of AlpecinFenix pictured on the podium after the Antwerp Port Epic cycling race 183km in and around Antwerp Sunday 12 September 2021 BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Van der Poel and Merlier compare beers (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Dutch Mathieu van der Poel of AlpecinFenix at the start of the Antwerp Port Epic cycling race 183km in and around Antwerp Sunday 12 September 2021 BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Dutch Mathieu van der Poel of AlpecinFenix at the start of the Antwerp Port Epic cycling race 183km in and around Antwerp Sunday 12 September 2021 BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) set out to test his back injury at the Antwerp Port Classic and passed with flying colours, delivering a crushing sprint to top Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert).

Tim Merlier made it two for Alpecin-Fenix on the podium, out-sprinting Danny van Poppel (Intermarché) from the chasing group.

Van der Poel injured his back at the Tokyo Olympics when he crashed on a rocky drop-off in the cross country mountain bike race. He skipped racing the Benelux Tour but opted to race in Antwerp to see if he would be fit for the UCI Road World Championships in Flanders and the postponed Paris-Roubaix.

"It’s nice to win. I missed some important goals but I am happy to be back," Van der Poel said. "The back gave some problems in final hour but it didn’t bother me as normal. I am relieved. I have to wait to see how I react but this race isn’t like Roubaix or Worlds. We’ll decide this week.”

The cyclo-cross world champion used his off-roading skills to open up a gap on a gravel stretch with 25km to go, with Van der Hoorn the only rider able to match his effort.

Van der Hoorn tried to leap away from Van der Poel in the final kilometre but had no luck, and when Van der Poel opened up his sprint, the Intermarché rider had no answer.

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 4:12:03
2Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:00:01
3Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:01:14
4Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
6Piotr Havik (Ned) Beat Cycling
7Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
8Thomas Joseph (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
9Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:01:19
10Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team DSM 0:01:30
11Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
12Bert De Backer (Bel) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
13Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:01:43
14Casper Van Uden (Ned) Development Team Dsm 0:02:50
15Campbell Stewart (NZl) Black Spoke Pro Cycling
16Tobias Andresen (Den) Development Team Dsm 0:02:51
17Cedric Beullens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:05:09
18Ward Vanhoof (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
19Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 0:05:10
20Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
21Martijn Budding (Ned) Beat Cycling 0:05:34
22Gil D´Heygere (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
23Jens Reynders (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
24Laurenz Rex (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
25Daan Van Sintmaartensdijk (Ned) Volkerwessels Cycling Team
26Boy van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
27Alfdan De Decker (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
28Florian Dauphin (Fra) B&B Hotels P/B Ktm
29Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
30Arne Marit (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
31Thibau Verhofstadt (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
32Vegard Stokke (Nor) Development Team Dsm
33Arjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
34Niklas Märkl (Ger) Team DSM
35Frederik Backaert (Bel) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
36Luke Mudgway (NZl) Black Spoke Pro Cycling
37Jules Hesters (Bel) Beat Cycling
38Adriaan Janssen (Ned) Abloc Ct
39Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
40Stijn Siemons (Bel) Evopro Racing
41Seppe Rombouts (Bel) Lviv Cycling Team
42Bodi Del Grosso (Ned) Abloc Ct
43Ruben Apers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
44Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Volkerwessels Cycling Team
45Jacob Relaes (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
46Stefano Museeuw (Bel) Beat Cycling
47Cyril Lemoine (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
48Samuel Jenner (Aus) Team Bridgelane
49Jordy Bouts (Bel) Beat Cycling 0:05:48
50Jensen Plowright (Aus) Team Bridgelane 0:07:13
51Jonas Abrahamsen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
52Morten Nørtoft (Den) Riwal Cycling Team
53Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix Development Team
54Jeroen Eyskens (Bel) Evopro Racing
55Martin Pluto (Lat) Abloc Ct
56Kristian Kulset (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
57Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM
58Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
59Dawit Yemane (Eri) Bike Aid
60Ceriel Desal (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces Wb
61Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
62Cyrus Monk (Aus) Evopro Racing
63Erik Nordsaeter Resell (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
64Lennert Teugels (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
65Jesper Schultz (Den) Riwal Cycling Team 0:07:21
66Lars Saugstad (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 0:07:30
DNFReinier Honig (Ned) Start Cycling Team
DNFNicolas Vergara Garcia (Chi) Start Cycling Team
DNFEduardo Ignacio Villanueva (Arg) Start Cycling Team
DNFMax Kroonen (Ned) Volkerwessels Cycling Team
DNFAbe Celi (Ned) Volkerwessels Cycling Team
DNFSean De Bie (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
DNFRobin Blummel (Ned) Volkerwessels Cycling Team
DNFJorge Peyrot Balvanera (Mex) Start Cycling Team
DNFJord Baak (Ned) Volkerwessels Cycling Team
DNFMatthew Dinham (Aus) Team Bridgelane
DNFTom Devriendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFWesley Mol (Ned) Xspeed United Continental
DNFMartin Salmon (Ger) Team DSM
DNFJérémy Lecroq (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
DNFBen Van Dam (Aus) Team Bridgelane
DNFRyan Schilt (Ned) Team Bridgelane
DNFGilles Borgers (Bel) Xspeed United Continental
DNFPhilipp Walsleben (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFSimon Daniels (Bel) Xspeed United Continental
DNFWesley Kreder (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFTaj Mueller (Aus) Xspeed United Continental
DNFPatrick Eddy (Aus) Team Bridgelane
DNFAndreas Goeman (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
DNFJames Fouche (NZl) Black Spoke Pro Cycling
DNFAimé De Gendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFMichaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Evopro Racing
DNFDaniel Nordemann-Da Silva (Can) Xspeed United Continental
DNFJasper Levi Pahlke (Ger) Bike Aid
DNFAzzedine Lagab (Alg) Bike Aid
DNFRasmus Christian Quaade (Den) Riwal Cycling Team
DNFLogan Currie (NZl) Black Spoke Pro Cycling
DNFMaxwell De Broeder (Bel) Lviv Cycling Team
DNFBrendan Rhim (USA) Evopro Racing
DNFTom Sexton (NZl) Black Spoke Pro Cycling
DNFOskar Nisu (Est) Evopro Racing
DNFAlexander White (NZl) Black Spoke Pro Cycling
DNFJoel Yates (NZl) Black Spoke Pro Cycling
DNFBernat Font Mas (Spa) Evopro Racing
DNFMarco König (Ger) Bike Aid
DNFStijn Appel (Ned) Abloc Ct
DNFElmar Reinders (Ned) Riwal Cycling Team
DNFLucas Carstensen (Ger) Bike Aid
DNFChristoffer Lisson (Den) Riwal Cycling Team
DNFThimo Willems (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFAdrie Lindeman (Ned) Riwal Cycling Team
DNFOskar Myrestøl Johansson (Nor) Uno-X Dare Development Team
DNFZak Coleman (GBr) Lviv Cycling Team
DNFToni Franz (Ger) Lviv Cycling Team
DNFLuuc Bugter (Ned) Beat Cycling
DNFBram Rombouts (Bel) Lviv Cycling Team
DNFOliver Robinson (GBr) Lviv Cycling Team
DNFLars Loohuis (Ned) Abloc Ct
DNFAndré Luijk (Ned) Abloc Ct
DNFIvar Slik (Ned) Abloc Ct
DNFJose Autran Carrillo (Chi) Start Cycling Team
DNFOleksandr Prevar (Ukr) Lviv Cycling Team

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