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‘It is one of many hardest races I’ve ever accomplished’ – Mathieu van der Poel on his historic Tour of Flanders victory

The scene on the Koppenberg was mayhem, riders strewn throughout the slender hill, each ft on the ground, slipping on its rain-soaked cobbles. They gripped their bikes and pushed in a panic. The race was getting away from them. With 45km to go, this was the decisive second. 

Forward, the blur of the world champion’s rainbow bands grew fainter and smaller. His primary dossard, too. The place mortals have been compelled to stroll, Mathieu van der Poel flew. The Dutchman, born on Belgian soil, vanished over the crest of the climb, to not be seen once more till the rostrum ceremony over an hour later. 

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