Mathieu van der Poel rides on after bizarre crash in Tour of Flanders 2019

The cyclocross star was able to continue after falling alone

Mathieu van der Poel in the 2019 Tour of Flanders (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Mathieu van der Poel was caught in a bizarre lone crash during the Tour of Flanders.

The Dutch national champion suffered a mechanical 60km from the finish, and was thrown over the bars as he called for assistance.

Van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) had been tipped as a favourite on his debut Flanders attempt, after he took victory in Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday (April 3).

>>> Five things to look out for at the 2019 Tour of Flanders

But more than 200km into the race, he was caught on the outside of the peloton and was forced to bunnyhop into a planter at speed, and the impact with the curb looked like it had damaged the front end of his bike.

The reigning cyclocross world champion pulled off to the side of the road and looked very unsteady as he slowed with one foot unclipped.

As he raised one arm to call for assistance from his team car, van der Poel was fired over the handlebars and into the concrete.

After the crash his handlebars were out of line and he looked to be injured.

But after sitting on the floor and holding his collarbone, the 24-year-old re-mounted and was seen powering back to the front of the bunch shortly after.

Van der Poel became an overnight favourite after his dominant victory in Dwars door Vlaanderen earlier in the week.

>>> Watch: Taking on the toughest climbs of the Tour of Flanders

That result followed a fourth-place finish in Gent-Wevelgem last weekend.

Reigning champion Niki Terpstra was not so fortunate, as he was caught in a slow motion crash 157km from the finish and was forced to abandon.

The Direct Energie rider was given medical attention on the course and was taken to hospital for checks.

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.