Pogacar takes impressive victory in Tour of Flanders: 'I will never forget this day'
Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) emerged victorious in the 107th edition of the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, after pulling off an impressive 20km solo to the finish line. "I will never forget this day," the 24-year-old said after the race. "This was incredible."
The Slovenian two-time Tour de France winner crossed the finish line alone after 273.4km between Bruges and Oudenaarde. Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel came second, 17 seconds behind. Danish rider Mads Pedersen narrowly made it ahead of Belgian Wout van Aert in the third-place sprint.
"I knew it would be tough, but this was the only way to ride to the finish solo"
"I will never forget this day," an elated Pogacar said ishortly after the race. "This was incredible. Our team performed fantastically." The Slovenian started his decisive acceleration on the third and final passage of the Oude Kwaremont, one of the Tour's most infamous cobblestone climbs. "I knew I had to start my solo there and just gave everything. Afterwards, I almost cracked on the Paterberg, though. I knew it would be tough, but this was the only way to ride to the finish solo."
For Belgian Tim Wellens, the race ended in disappointment as he broke his left collarbone in a fall. Pogacar's teammate was set to undergo surgery later on Sunday, UAE-Team Emirates announced on Twitter. Wellens was one of the victims of a massive crash caused by Polish rider Filip Maciejuk ahead of the first climb of the Oude Kwaremont, some 140km from the finish line.
Belgian Lotte Kopecky took the women's title later in the day.
#FlandersNewsService | Tadej Pogacar © BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND