'I thought I'd already lost the race': Mathieu van der Poel impresses in Flanders after fighting back from crash

Dutch champion was able to fight back for fourth place in his Tour of Flanders debut after crashing with 30km to go

Mathieu van der Poel at the 2019 Tour of Flanders (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Mathieu van der Poel considers himself lucky because he thought he had lost the Tour of Flanders with a spectacular crash mid-race.

The Dutch champion finished an eventual fourth in Oudenaarde, his debut ride in the Monument. His chase back on after the crash was considered the ride of the race along with Alberto Bettiol's (EF Education First) winning move. Van der Poel had somersaulted over his bars when his wheel broke and covered 30 kilometres, at times solo, to rejoin the lead group.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.