CW Live: Tour of Flanders updates as Tadej Pogačar and Lotte Kopecky convincingly win; Mathieu van der Poel finishes second; Mads Pedersen beats Wout van Aert to fourth; SD Worx continue dominant spring; Bahrain-Victorious rider apologises for crash;

Join us for live updates from the Tour of Flanders as Tadej Pogačar and Lotte Kopecky win the men's and women's editions

Hello, cycling fans. The wait is over. It's Flanders day. De Ronde. The hilly cobbled Classic we've building up to ever since Opening Weekend at the end of February.

Join us throughout the day as we provide you with live updates from Belgium, where Mathieu van der Poel goes in search of his third victory in the last four years in the men's race, while SD Worx will look to continue their dominant spring form, boasting the defending champion Lotte Kopecky among their talented ranks.


Men's race flag drops in Bruges with the Big Three the favourites

Windy, windy, windy

Van der Poel caught out by crosswinds after just 40km of racing

Van der Poel back in the peloton

And now it's Tadej Pogačar trapped behind

Slip and sliding expected on the cobbles

90km of racing and still no breakaway

The fastest Ronde ever?

Do we have a confirmed breakaway?

This is really interesting... Tim Merlier of Soudal-QuickStep has accelerated from the front of the peloton, bringing with him Jonas Rutsch of EF Education-EasyPost. The pair have bridged across to the break of five, ensuring that Soudal-QuickStep have presence in the breakaway. Soudal-QuickStep  have had a torturous spring Classics campaign and they are desperate to be involved today.

The escape builds a sizeable lead as the Kwaremont approaches

Huge crash affects scores of riders

Filip Maciejuk disqualified for causing crash

Men's race - 117km to go: A few more crashes have brought down yet more riders, including Soudal-QuickStep's Davide Ballerini. DSM have tried a curious tactic of slowing the pace down to a crawl before then accelerating, while Israel-Premier Tech are now at the front of proceedings. The break continue to hold an advantage of just over five minutes.

Yet more crashes in the men's race as Pedersen attacks

Men's race - 105km to go: the peloton have chalked off two minutes of the breakaway's lead, and the action behind is hotting up. Tadej Pogačar is attentive to the attacks, the first of which was from Mads Pedersen, but Wout van Aert is not near the very front.

Attacks, attacks, attacks

Is the winner in this chase group?

Men's race - 75km to go: the breakaway and the chasers have joined forces to create a mega-group of 19 riders, with Soudal-QuickStep represented by both Kasper Asgreen and Tim Merlier. The peloton are 1-50 behind, with Wout van Aert, Tadej Pogačar, Mathieu van der Poel and Tom Pidcock all sitting at the front.

Men's race - 71km to go: Another crash brings down Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Victorious), while the peloton is now led by Jumbo-Visma. With the Dutch team having Nathan van Hooydonck up front, they have slowed down the speed. Does that mean Wout van Aert's chances are evaporating? 

Mads Pedersen

The attack that forced what looks like the race-winning move

(Image credit: Getty)

Bahrain-Victorious rider apologises for causing pile-up

Men's race - 59km to go: It looks increasingly unlikely that one of the Big Three will triumph today, and instead the winner will come from the 19-strong group at the head of proceedings. But one of them must attack soon because if not Tim Merlier of Soudal-QuickStep will fancy his chances of winning the bunch sprint.

Men's race - 55km to go: Now they've gone! Tadej Pogačar's teammates have set the Slovenian up for a monstrous attack and no-one can follow him! But he still has two minutes to make up to the leading group.

Men's race - 51km to go: Kasper Asgreen, winner of this race in 2021, attacked solo from the front of the leading group but was quickly caught. Tadej Pogačar has cut the gap by 30 seconds in just a few kilometres, but the Van Aert-Pidcock-Van der Poel group are just behind.

Men's race - 49km to go: Christophe Laporte has jumped clear from the group of five and has joined forces with Tadej Pogačar who appeared to be slowing down, whether through fatigue or on purpose. It means that Jumbo-Visma now have one rider in the leading group, Laporte with Pogačar and then Wout van Aert just a few seconds adrift. 

Men's race - 44km to go: The Koppenberg always delivers, and Pogačar, Van Aert and Van der Poel all fly up the steep, cobbled climb as one, putting serious distance into Pidcock and Laporte behind. The trio are just over one minute behind the front group that now numbers 12.

Men's race - 37km to go: The trio of Pogačar, Van der Poel and van Aert are now just 40 seconds behind the lead group of 12, and with the Taaienberg, Kwaremont and Paterberg on the horizon, attacks are going to come from the leading dozen.

Men's race - 35km to go: Van der Poel briefly lost ground on the Taaienberg, but the cobbled berg did not produce any further attacks from the trio. 

Big attacks with van Aert struggling

Men's race - 20km to go: Van Hooydonck has dropped from the second group on the road to help pace van Aert back to the front of the race.  Van der Poel and Pogačar - who have now caught the remnants of the original lead group - are looking good but Pedersen's lead is remaining stable. He has around 35 seconds to the group behind.

Pogačar attacks and leads after Kwaremont

Men's race - 13km to go: Van Aert has impressively regained touch with the chasing group, but he is some 40 seconds behind Pogačar. Van der Poel is chasing hard after the UAE-Team Emirates rider, but it was going to require a huge collapse from Pogačar on the Paterberg to give van der Poel a chance of the win in Oudenaarde. That did not happen, and with 13km to go it looks increasingly certain that Pogačar will add the cobbled Monument to his collection.

Tadej Pogačar

(Image credit: Getty)

Men's race - 4km to go: Pogačar is going to win. Van der Poel has accepted that second will be his, and the small group behind him will fight it out in the bunch sprint for third.

Tadej Pogačar wins Tour of Flanders

Women's race -  38km to go: The front of the race is packed out by three riders from SD Worx - defending champion Lotte Kopecky, Lorena Wiebes and Marlen Reusser. They are joined by Silvia Persico (UAE-Team ADQ). 

Women's race - 35km to go: Lorena Wiebes is dropped from the leading group, meaning that Silivia Persico is not so outnumbered now, just having two SD Worx riders (Lotte Kopecky and Marlen Reusser) alongside her.

Women's race - 30km to go: We still have the Kwaremont and Paterberg to come one final time, and the leading trio's lead has been cut to 10 seconds. SD Worx has two more riders present in the chase group: Lorena Wiebes and Demi Vollering. Former winner Elisa Longo Borginhi is one of three Trek-Segafredo riders.

Women's race - 28km to go: Kopecky flies up the Kruisberg and only Persico is able to keep pace. Reusser is dropped, and all of a sudden the chase group behind is in pieces.

Women's race - 20km to go: Kopecky and Persico continue with a lead of 25 seconds, and behind the chase group has regrouped. Trek-Segafredo are driving the pace hard, but it will come down to the Kwaremont and the Paterberg.

Women's race - 18km to go: Kopecky goes! She attacked at the bottom of the Kwaremont and Persico could do nothing. Kopecky is powering up the climb with apparent ease. Who would bet against a second consecutive title now?

Women's race - 13km to go: Kopecky cruises up and over the Paterberg and now has a lead in excess of 40 seconds. But Persico is battling hard: she will not catch Kopecky, but she is desperate to hold onto second place. Unfortunately for the Italian, she is caught by the chase group on the Paterberg.

Women's race - 8km to go: Kopecky's lead has been reduced a little, but with two SD Worx teammates behind in the chase group it seems inconceivable that the Belgian will not win.

Lotte Kopecky defends title to win Tour of Flanders yet again

Well, that's it for the live blog today. I do hope you've enjoyed watching and reading  the unfolding drama. We'll do it all again next weekend for Paris-Roubaix. Bring it on!

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