Trek-Segafredo cleared to ride Dwars door Vlaanderen
Bora-Hansgrohe given the green-light for Dwars door Vlaanderen
Dwars door Vlaanderen 2021 – Preview
How to watch Dwars door Vlaanderen 2021 – live TV and streaming
1 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers
2 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
3 Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
5 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
8 Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
9 Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
10 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of Dwars door Vlaanderen.
As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, the riders are lining up for the roll out.
The race starts in Roeselare and ends in Waregem after 184km of racing.
it is warm and sunny in Belgium, with 24C temperatures expected. It should be a fast and aggressive race.
This was the Jumbo-Visma team on the sign-on podium. However team leader Wout Van Aert is not riding today.
🇧🇪 #DDV21 The squad is ready 🐝 pic.twitter.com/Z6ViCuRzD7March 31, 2021
Off-colour at E3 Saxo Bank Classic but imperious at Gent-Wevelgem, Van Aert is the major absentee by choice, meaning we won’t have a preview of the highly-anticipated showdown with Alaphilippe and Van der Poel until Sunday's the Tour of Flanders.
The so-called ‘big-three’ locked horns at Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Milan-San Remo, but the last time they all lined up against each other on Belgian soil remains last year’s Tour of Flanders.
Van Aert is absent but Mathieu van der Poel and Julian Alaphillipe leads the ever-strong Deceuninck collective. That will be the first rivalry to watch but there are many others as team race for the last time before Sunday's Tour of Flanders.
Breaking news: van der Poel is wearing white shorts. He also has a new bike.
It’s the perfect day for white shorts ☀️😍 @DwarsdrVlaander #AlpecinFenix pic.twitter.com/UDvbZ7amVrMarch 31, 2021
The riders have rolled out of the start and face a5km neutralised sector.
#TheWolfpack is in Roeselare for #DDV21 😃 pic.twitter.com/BQrP2rwsDPMarch 31, 2021
This was the roll out.
#DDVmen #DDV21 Leaving the football stadium ⚽️ for some proper bike racing 🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼 pic.twitter.com/UdnOK3bhinMarch 31, 2021
The women's race is also underway. We'll have a full race report, photos and results after the finish.
This is a snapshot of the start of the women's race.
#DDVwomen Some impressions of the women’s start, presented by @KPMG_BE ! 🙋🏼♀️ #DDV21 pic.twitter.com/oCbd0DiIUHMarch 31, 2021
As you may have read, the Trek and Bora teams were allowed to race despite recent COVID-19 cases. However Mads Pedersen, Alex Kirsch and Edward Theuns of Trek remain in isolation. Trek started with five riders.
Alberto Bettiol (EF) also didn't start but quickly announced he has been fighting a cold and will be back for the Tour of Flanders. His teammmate Jonas Rutsch did not start, so there are 171 starters.
The weather is warm and still, favouring a sprint finish.
After the opening kilometres, there are still no attacks. The riders are enjoying the sun.
This is the map of the race, showing the twisting route and many climbs.
This is the list of the climbs. The first, the Kluisberg comes after 70km.
The climbs: Kluisberg Nieuwe Kwaremont Kluisberg Knokteberg-Trieu Kortekeer Steenbeekdries Taaienberg Berg Ten Houte Kruisberg-Hotond Knokteberg-Trieu Vossenhol Holstraat Nokereberg.
Van der Poel, who won the last edition of this race two years ago, starts as the favourite today.
However it will be fascinating to see how Alaphilippe fits into the equation at Deceuninck-QuickStep, who were everywhere at E3 but nowhere at Gent-Wevelgem.
At last year’s Tour of Flanders the team seemed happy for Alaphilippe to open the race early and fight it out with Van Aert and Van der Poel. They may play a different game this Sunday.
To fully understand who are all the contenders and details of the race route, check out our full race preview by clicking below.
In the race, the pace is still high but breaks have been allowed to get away.
Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Leonardo Basso (Ineos Grenadiers) clash and tumble but with no break, they should quickly get back in the peloton.
Mathieu van der Poel told Sporza before the start that he was happy to watch Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem on television.
"I was fine in my armchair", he said with a laugh.
"It looked hectic, but I have no regrets that I was not there. And it motivates me that Wout drives so well," he said of his eternal rival Wout Van Aert.
Van der Poel is hoping for an aggressive race today, to test his legs before Sunday.
"In a shorter race, more riders show their willingness to race. I love that. I hope there will be a race from afar," he said.
Allez! We have an attack. Will they get away?
The five riders are: Ivo Oliveira (UAE), Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal), Rudy Barbier (Israel Start-Up Nation), Tom Scully (EF) and Evgeny Fedorov (Astana-Premier Tech).
140km to go
We spoke too soon. The five are quickly caught by the peloton.
Peloton groupé au km 32. @bryancoquard mène la danse 🐔📸 @Glazic_Officiel #DVV21 | #MenInGlaz pic.twitter.com/vn3yCuwm4UMarch 31, 2021
The riders are near Waregem now, where the race will finish later.
We're still waiting for the next attack to form.
The riders have covered the first hour at around 50km/h. Yet there's still no attack.
That might change in 20km or so when they hit the first climb of the day.
#DDVmenAfter 1h15, there is still no early breakaway. It’s a tough battle!@wesleykreder is covering the attacks for #IWG atm #rideforantoine pic.twitter.com/cv7uQ5smELMarch 31, 2021
Several riders have dropped back to team cars for service and tactical advice before the first climb of the day.
This was the clam before the race started. We expect attacks to come soon and the race to explode.
#DDVmen Big names at the start of the 75th edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen! 😍 #DDV21 pic.twitter.com/13yb7kbgtnMarch 31, 2021
A truck on the course has forced the riders to slow to stay safe.
The race was briefly neutralised but they are back racing now.
On the Kluisberg, Oliveira, Sütterlin, Van der Sande, Grondahl Jansen, Wallays and Barthe tried to go away but they pulled to heel quickly.
Next up is the Nieuwe Kwaremont. Then there are some flat roads and then the Kluisberg kicks off the finale and the series of non-stop climbs.
As the race passes through the feed zone, Britain's Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) has a ten-second gap. But he's not being given his freedom.
Hayter has some help from Florian Vermeersch (Lotto-Soudal) and Jelle Wallays (Cofidis). This could be the start of a break.
100km to go
After 85km of fast racing we have a break!
Ethan Hayter (Ineos), Florian Vermeersch (Lotto-Soudal) and Jelle Wallays (Cofidis) lead by 35 seconds.
Cycling has been blessed with great rivalries over the years and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) versus Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is the battle of current generation, up there with Coppi and Bartali, Boonen and Cancellara.
They've been going at it for the best part of a decade already, first in cyclo-cross and now in the Classics. On the road at least, they've barely got going.
As part of our special countdown content before Sunday's Tour of Flanders, Patrick Fletcher took a deep dive into their rivalry.
Click below to read the full feature.
The peloton has eased and os the trio have opened their lead to over 1:00.
Everyone else is in the peloton.
#DDVmen #DDV21After 9️⃣0️⃣km, the peloton finally seems to be happy with a breakaway of 3 riders#rideforantoine #iwg pic.twitter.com/ZxBLRKBi7VMarch 31, 2021
Nils Eekhoff (Team DSM) is in the middle between the break and the peloton.
The pace has stayed high for the second hour of racing, with the average at 48.5km/h.
That's will hurt some but will be good speed work for the Tour of Flanders for others.
Daniel Ostanek here taking over for the rest of the day.
Nils Eekhoff has just been brought back by the peloton after giving up the chase.
80km to go
The riders are about to take on the Kruisberg for the second time now. The pace has gone up in the peloton as a result, and the gap to the break is down under 40 seconds.
Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Barnabás Peák (Team BikeExchange) are the latest riders to abandon the race.
There have been a few crashes in the peloton in recent kilometres. Maarten Wynants (Jumbo-Visma) and Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) went down a few minutes ago. Now Dimi Claeys (Qhubeka Assos) is among the riders involved in a crash after the Kluisberg.
Over the Knokteberg and the break is all together. They're 34 seconds up on the peloton as they approach the paved Kortekeer climb.
Trek-Segafredo, Alpecin-Fenix and Qhubeka Assos are on the front of the peloton.
62km to go
Elia Viviani (Cofidis) crashes on the Marieborrestraat stretch of cobbles. Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) has also gone down.
Hayter and Wallays have detached Vermeersch at the front.
Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) pushes on in the peloton.
And now the break is done as the riders reach the Taaienberg. Tom Pidcock and Kasper Asgreen are right at the back of the peloton.
Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) jumps away over the top but he only has a small gap.
A short descent and it won't be long until the riders reach the next climb of the Berg Ten Houte.
David Ballerini (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is dropped from the peloton on Taaienberg.
It looks like the rest of the big names are in the main peloton, which is now down to only around 20 riders...
More mid-sized groups are chasing behind.
Hayter had another go off the front along with Teuns but he's brought back.
Now a small group has broken off the front. Alexander Kristoff is up there. There are Lotto Soudal, Ineos, Bora-Hansgrohe and AG2R Citroën up there.
The group hit Berg Ten Houte.
Politt, Wellens, Kristoff, Van Baarle are there.
Alaphilippe, Van Avermaete, Nizzolo, Barguil, Van der Poel are in the next group on the road. 20 seconds is the gap.
52km to go
Van Baarle pushes on from the front group.
Riders push on in the peloton. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpcein-Fenix) are among them. They're almost up to the chase group of Kristoff.
Another group comes across. Here's the best we can do as to identification at the moment...
Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix), ? (Cofidis), ? (Wanty), Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain), Florian Senechal (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka Assos)
They haven't pushed on, though, and now the larger peloton has caught them on the flat road. Van Baarle leads by 35 seconds...
43km to go
Riders continue to push on and look around but nothing is going away. The pace isn't exactly high.
Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) has another go.
Politt's teammate Daniel Oss keeps the pace high in the peloton. They're 15 seconds down on Van Baarle now. The next group is 20 seconds back.
Victor Campenaerts (Qhubka Assos), Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange) and Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) attacked the peloton and are closing in on Van Baarle as the riders head to the Knokteberg once again.
35km to go
Van Avermaet pushes on from the peloton at the top.
Van Avermaet has a small group with him. Van der Poel is not there.
Van der Poel isn't in any of the next chase groups either..
Florian Senechal is among those with Van Avermaet as they catch the Campenaerts group. No word on the other riders in the group though... Alaphilippe isn't there either.
A look at Van Avermaet's effort on the Knokteberg.
Greg van Avermaet geeft er een ferme lel op op de Trieu. Mathieu Van der Poel moet lossen?#DDV21 pic.twitter.com/W7DwZDSHLqMarch 31, 2021
Barguil, Laporte and Stuyven are also in that group with Van Avermaet.
Nizzolo, Kristoff, Garcia Cortina, Coquard and Politt are in the next group on the road. Van Baarle is still 23 seconds up at the front.
Alaphilippe, Démare, Van der Poel are in the fourth group on the road.
That group are over a minute down on Van Baarle.
The second group on the road isn't working particularly well together.
23km to go
28 seconds from Van Baarle to Van Avermaet's second group.
52 seconds from Van Baarle to Kristoff's third group.
Vossenhol-Tiegemberg now for Van Baarle.
Van Avermaet pushes the pace at the front of his group. He's doing more work than he usually does here. The gap is coming down to Van Baarle.
20km to go
The gap is back up to 27 seconds after the climb. Not much change then.
Italian team's manager, directeur sportif, offices and warehouse among those searched on Tuesday
Van Baarle is up the Holstraat climb. Just the Nokereberg and a couple of shorter cobbled sections to go.
Van Baarle > 35 seconds > Chase 1 > 20 seconds > Chase 2 > 20 seconds > Peloton
Maybe the best chance for the first chase group would be the groups behind catching them because they are doing absolutely nothing to cut into the gap of the single man out front...
They could all run out of road before that happens, though.
18km to go
Stuyven makes a push on the front.
The third group and the peloton aren't too far apart.
Van der Poel and Dries De Bondt work on the front of their fourth group for Tim Merlier.
13km to go
The third group is breaking down and a couple of riders are almost back with the peloton.
Still no inroads being made at the front. Van Baarle is 34 seconds up as he reaches the Nokereberg.
Sénéchal and Van Avermaet lead the second group up the 500-metre cobbled berg.
Politt and Garcia Cortina are holding out against the peloton, though they're 47 seconds down.
10km to go
Van der Poel and De Bondt are at the rear of the peloton. It looks like they've given up on this.
30 seconds from Van Baarle to the first chase group, still...
Barguil, Durbridge take turns on the front of the chase. The group isn't making a dent in the lead.
8km to go
Politt and Garcia Cortina are caught by the peloton, which is a minute down.
Van Baarle is powering over this cobbled section.
If the last 45km are anything to go by then this race looks like it's already over...
6.5km to go
That's the end of the climbs and cobbles today. Van Baarle is still 30 seconds up.
The peloton are 20 seconds down on the chase group.
5km to go
The peloton aren't making too much effort to get back. Alpecin-Fenix are pushing on a bit.
Van Baarle has had eight men chasing him for over an hour now and he hasn't looked in any trouble whatsoever.
3.5km to go
The gap is still 30 seconds and 50 back to the peloton.
2km to go
There's no doubt that Van Baarle has won this. There hasn't been for a while now. We're just waiting to see who ends up filling out the podium – probably 30 seconds behind him...
2km to go
Van der Poel and Alpecin-Fenix are back on the front of the peloton. They're closing in on the chase group and the gap seems to be down to under 10 seconds...
A huge effort from Van der Poel on the front has brought the peloton within sight of that group. He drops off and almost comes to a standstill after that.
Dylan van Baarle is on the finishing straight.
And Dylan van Baarle wins Dwars Door Vlaanderen!
Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) jumps out of the peloton to grab second, around 30 seconds down.
Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) takes third.
A 52-kilometre solo ride from Van Baarle. What a ride.
Van der Poel finishes alone at 1:30.
Van Baarle celebrates his win.
Here's what he had to say after the finish.
"Last year was a difficult year, of course with everything that happened. So, we're in a good way. We approached the Classics a bit different this year, much more attacking. It's nice, it's nice to race like this and I'm happy I could finish it off.
"To win a semi-Classic is super special. It's high on the list."
So that's all for the cobbled Classics until the big one on Sunday – the men's and women's Tour of Flanders.
Scheldeprijs will follow midweek, while Paris-Roubaix looks unlikely to be held this April.
The next major race on the calendar, meanwhile, is the GP Miguel Indurain in Estella on Saturday.
Ineos Grenadiers claim first one-day WorldTour win since 2017 as Dutchman tops Laporte, Merlier
A final kilometre to remember.Here's @DylanvanBaarle capping off a 53km solo move to take our first win at #DDV21(📽️ @DwarsdrVlaander) pic.twitter.com/sHacr5LdQQMarch 31, 2021
Here's the shot of the final podium – Van Baarle, Laporte and Merlier – with that horse soft toy 'trophy'. Dwars the horse?
Our full race report is up, along with a gallery of today's action.
We'll have full results when they're available.
We haven't heard any injury news on the various riders who crashed earlier today. Elia Viviani was reportedly taken to hospital, though Cofidis haven't put out any updates yet.
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