Tour of Flanders Live – Mathieu Van der Poel attacks solo

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Dries De Bondt

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A moment’s thought for Teuns and Bettiol, who appeared to have podium places sewn up before being caught agonisingly on the finishing straight. Instead, they have to settle for eighth and nine respectively.

Regarding Matthews’ relegation, it seems he’s been punished for deviating from his line and not allowing Politt any room to pass him by the barrier. Politt was visibly incensed and believed his line had been unfairly blocked – and so to, it seems, did the commissaires.

The victory means Van der Poel draws level with Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen, Johan Museeuw, Eric Leman, Fiorenzo Magni and Achiel Buysse on the all-time list with three victories. At the age of just 31, he has plenty of time to do what none of those riders could, and become the first man in history to win a fourth title.

An update on the podium finish – Michael Matthews has been relegated for dangerous sprinting, meaning that Nils Politt has instead been promoted to third-place.

Dutch Mathieu van der Poel of Alpecin-Deceuninck celebrates after winning the men's race of the 'Ronde van Vlaanderen' (Tour des Flandres) one day cycling race, 270,8 km from Antwerp to Oudenaarde, on March 31, 2024. (Photo by LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ / Belga / AFP) / Belgium OUT

(Image credit: Getty Images)

To put Van der Poel’s win into perspective, it’s a considerably bigger margin than the 16 seconds Tadej Pogačar won by last year, which was the first time the Ronde had been won solo since 2019. 

But one thing that certainly was not a surprise was the winner. Van der Poel delivered everything that was expected of him and then some, not showing any signs of the pressure he was under. His eventual winning margin of 1-02 might not have been as big as it looked like being when he grew a lead of almost two minutes on the Oude Kwaremont, but it’s still huge.

Plenty of other surprise names in the top ten as well as Mozzato: who would have predicted Bjerg, Morgado and Sheffield to also finish so highly?

Meanwhile third-place for Michael Matthews is a first ever Tour of Flanders podium for the Australian, and follows his second-place finish at Milan-Sanremo. Whereas he was devastated to get so close to winning that time, surely he’ll be delighted at this result given the impossibility of anybody stopping Van der Poel.

Not just a huge result for Mozzato, but surely the best of his career.

It seems Mozzato edged out Matthews for second-place. That’s a huge result for both the Italian, and his Arkéa – B&B Hotels team.

…they catch them just in time! Matthews and Mozzato take the podium spots.

Menawhile there’s an intense battle for the podium spots, as the chasers bear down on Teuns and Bettiol…

He’s had plenty of time to think of a celebration, and he’s come up with a great one for the photographers – as he crosses the line, he lifts the bike up above his head

Mathieu van der Poel wins the Tour of Flanders!

He is indeed making the most of it, slowing down and taking in the crowd’s applause.

Van der Poel might have already won the Tour of Flanders twice, but on both those occasions he took somebody with him to the finishing straight before outsprinting them – Wout van Aert in 2020, and Tadej Pogačar in 2022. This time, he’ll have the privilege of being able to soak up the atmosphere, and enjoy the feeling of knowing he’s won before he crosses the line. 

Just 1,500 metres left for Van der Poel to complete.

Four of the nine riders in the chase group behind Bettiol and Teuns are UAE Team Emirates riders. If they’re to make up the 10 seconds they need to bring that duo back and bring a podium position into play, it’ll be up to them to do so.

5KM TO GO

Not present is Benoot, who had a slow bike chance and is out of contention.

Sheffield, Matthews and Naesen have now been caught by six other chasers, most of them UAE riders: Wellens, Politt, Morgado and Bjerg (not Hirschi as earlier said), plus Mozzato and Skujiņš. 

Puncture for Tiesj Benoot, one of several riders who is (or at least was) still in contention for a podium finish.

It appears the Ineos rider was Magnus Sheffield rather than Josh Tarling, and the American has gone clear from the rest of the chasers with Oliver Naesen and Michael Matthews.

Bettiol managed to limit his losses to Teuns on the Paterberg, and is back with him The pair have to work together though if they want podium spots, as the other group is bearing down on them.

Not far behind, the next chase group in full consists of: Benoot, Skujiņš, Wellens, Matthews, Tarling, Mozzato, Benoot, Hirschi, Mogrado and Politt.

Now Teuns and Bettiol are on the Paterberg, and Teuns is dropping him.

Now Van der Poel’s on the Paterberg, the last climb of the race.

The make-up of the group behind Bettiol and Teuns has changed, with some including Pedersen and Jorgenson dropped, and others including Benoot now in it.

Behind, Bettiol and Teuns appear to have increased their lead over the next chase group.

Van der Poel has reached the top, and his lead is just short of two minutes! Even by the recent standards of huge solo wins from the likes of himself and Tadej Pogačar and Remco Evenepoel, that’s truly enormous.

Van der Poel is on the Oude Kwaremont for one last time, and is been greeted by huge cheers.

Further behind, Michael Matthews, Toms Skujiņš and Oliver Naesen have joined Pedersen, Rex and Jorgenson. Pedersen will be grateful for having a teammate with him. 

20KM TO GO

Here’s a glimpse of some of the carnage on the Koppenberg. That’s Tim Wellens and Dylan Teuns in the background having to dismount – two of the strongest riders in the break, who are now in the hunt for podium places.

25KM TO GO

Only Teuns left with Bettiol now, with Wellens and Garcia a few seconds behind. 

Bettiol accelerates, and has split the group up. The riders who went deepest to try and chase Van der Poel initially, Jorgenson and Pedersen, are first out the back, suggesting they’re paying for those efforts.

Teuns is leading the chasers on the Kruisberg. The Belgian hasn’t shown much this spring, but often seems to raise his game for big monuments and has done so again today.

Still three climbs left to ride up, the first of which, the Oude Kruisberg, Van der Poel is on now.

Mathieu van der Poel

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The chasers are racing each other rather than organise to try and bring back Van der Poel, suggesting that they’ve the podium spots in mind. Garcia has attacked and has a small gap.

Those seven chasers should be able to contest for the remaining podium places, as the next group on the road is almost a minute behind.

Rex and Pedersen hae managed to rejoin the chase group, swelling it to seven riders. These riders can all be pleased with how they’ve raced today – it’s just that Van der Poel is on another planet.

35KM TO GO

Jorgenson has been swallowed up by the chase group, now consisting of just Bettiol, Teuns, Wellens and Garcia. 

Not far behind them are no less than 3 Ineos riders in a chase group. If they can get organised then the riders behind Van der Poel are catchable.

Pedersen appears to be suffering from his earlier efforts now. He’s been dropped by the chase group, along with Rex.

Jorgenson is experiencing similar to what his teammate Van Aert did at E3 Saxo Classic – he was agonisingly close a short while ago, but is now seeing the world champion jersey grow further and further into the distance. 

Van der Poel’s on the Taaienberg now, and his gap’s getting bigger and bigger. Now over 40 seconds.

Garcia, Wellens, Bettiol and Rex have now also joined Pedersen and Teuns. They currently occupy the places 3rd – sixth on the road, behind Van der Poel in first and Jorgenson in second. 

We’re seeing a reply of Garcia on the Koppernberg, and it turns out it wasn’t a mechanical – the cobbles were simply too hard. It seems slight rainfall we’ve had was enough to make the cobbles here slippy, and therefore even more difficult than usual.

Meanwhile Pedesen has company now, with Teuns joining him. That will be of great use as they try to bring back Jorgenson.

Van der Poel is on the Mariaborrestraat cobbled sector now, and his lead’s getting bigger – up to 15 seconds now.

Jorgenson can see Van der Poel up the road on a long straight section of road, but isn’t making any inroads. Van der Poel isn’t looking back, and doesn’t seem to have any intention of waiting for him.

Behind Jorgensen, there’s already a huge 25 seconds to the next man on the road, Mads Pedersen.

7 seconds between Van der Poel and Jorgenson. There are 43km to go, which is only slightly longer than where he attacked to win E3 last week. Will he think about sitting up, or is this the winning move already?

Then Bettiol, Rex and Wellens in a small group.

After Pedersen is Teuns, then Garcia, but there’s seconds between them

Even further back is Mads Pedersen – but this is still some ride from the Dane given his earlier efforts.

Not Van der Poel though, who is flying up it. Jorgenson is in sol pursuit but there’s daylight between them.

Amazing images here that only the Koppenberg can provide: even riders in the front group are having to dismount on walk up it!

Van der Poel attacks on the Koppenberg!

Garcia’s had a problem and has dropped his chain

They’re on the Koppenberg now!

A few more riders have joined on the approach to the climb: Mozzato, Van der Berg, and one of the pre-race favourites Michael Matthews.

There aren’t many riders in the group of favourites: just Van der Poel, Pedersen, Mohoric, Benoot, Skujiņš, Pithie, Jorgensen, Rex, Lazkano, Turner, Politt, Teuns, Wellens, Naesen.

This is a good move from Garcia. He’s been given ten seconds by the favourites group, who maybe don’t consider him too much of a threat.

Pithie and Toms Skujiņš are having to do a bit of work to rejoin the group of favourites, which only has about a dozen riders left in it for now.

One rider has managed to slip clear – Ivan Garcia. The Spaniard was in good form earlier in the spring, but is racing for the first time since abandoning the Volta a Catalunya.

Things haven’t kicked off on the Paterberg as much as they did on the Oude Kwaremont. The peloton is strung out, but no groups have got away.

Van der Poel is fourth in line.

They’re on the Paterberg now, and Ben Turner is leading the peloton

The lead group is now about 20 riders big, as groups bridge up to those six riders.

They don’t look eager to press on though, and groups are coming back from behind.

That sextet has a handy lead already.

Van der Poel’s been joined by a few riders as he leads over the summit: Lazkano, Teuns, Pithie, Wellens and Pedersen.

55KM TO GO

Now Van der Poel attacks!

Lazkano’s flying up this climb, and has caught the duo already

Lazkano leads the peloton on the climb, with Van der Poel on his wheel.

The leading duo start the Kwaremont with a lead of only 10 seconds on the peloton, due to the pace increase ahead of the climb.

A few riders held up on one of the tight squeezes heading towards the Kwaremont. Nobody hit the deck though, thankfully.

60KM TO GO

Alpecin-Deceninck are hardly playing things by the tactical playbook, either, leading the peloton despite having Vermeersch. But there is a clear method here – Vermeersch is marking one of their main threats, Mads Pedersen, while the others are discouraging other attacks from the peloton by controlling things, while also keeping Van der Poel well positioned. 

Talking of tactics, just what is Mads Pedersen up to here? Even with the assistance of Vermeersch, this is a big effort, and one that’s being made with a lot of racing still to do. Does he really believe he can win with such an early attack? Or has his crash earlier this week changed his approach, and leading him into more of a supplementary role in favour of teammates like Jonathan Milan and Toms Skujiņš?

Fabian Cancellara’s been spotted on the road side at the feedzone, handing out bidons. Van der Poel is hoping to join him on three Flanders victories today – but not replicate what happened to him in 2011, when, as a similarly ret hot favourite, he was tactically outmanoeuvred to be defeated. You can read all about that terrific edition of the race here.

Not only do Alpecin have Vermeersch out front, they also have two riders at the front of the peloton looking after Van der Poel. They might have been under pressure earlier on in the race, but they have things well under control for now.

70KM TO GO

Some riders trying to clip off the front of the peloton now the climb’s summit has been crested, but none managing to go clear.

Stefan Küng is trying to chase back to the peloton, all by himself. He’s surely out of contention for the win.

Mads Pedersen

The two leaders (Image credit: Getty Images)

Pedersen and Vermeersh are on Berg Ten Houte now, with a lead of about 30 seconds.

Another group has now made contact with the peloton, which consequently swells to a considerable size now.

One thing Vermeersch’s presence in the break has achieved is to force other teams to chase. There’s been a regrouping in the peloton behind, which is much bigger now than it was immediately after the previous flurry of climbs. Ineos Grenadiers are the team leading the chase.

80KM TO GO

Vermeersch is now taking turns with Pedersen. That’s interesting, as you would have assumed Pedersen would be deemded too much of a threat.

Crash back in the peloton, and Stefan Küng is involved. He’s up, but taking his time to get going again.

Pedersen and Vermeersch have a big gap of over ten minutes now, despite Pedersen doing all the work. He must be confidant that he can drop Vermeersch on the climbs – the next of which is Berg Ten Houte, in about 10km. 

Vermeersch isn’t taking any turns, but that isn’t stopping Pedersen from pressing on.

Fortunately for Van der Poel, he has Gianni Vermeersch on Pedersen’s wheel. Vermeersch was Alpecin’s sole representative in the break, and is now showing how useful a position that is.

While he’s recovering though, Mads Pedersen attacks!

It seems the plan was for the Alpecin riders to up the pace to get Van der Poel close enough to bridge the gap up himself, which he did in a matter of moments after attacking.

And he’s bridged up to the lead group.

Van der Poel attacks!

There are plenty of riders in the lead group with incentive to work, too. As well as Benoot, Van Baarle and Pedersen, favourites such as Nils Politt, Oliver Naesen, Tim Merlier, Ben Turner, and Laurenz Rex are also present.

Van der Poel has three riders with him setting the pace in the peloton. That’s a lot, but not enough if the lead group all work well together.

It’s only a drizzle for now, but could spell danger if it keeps falling.

Now the rain starts to fall!

90KM TO GO

The lead group, by contrast, are working well. Visma are enthused by having two of their strongest riders in it, Benoot and Van Baarle, while Lidl-Trek have their leader Pedersen there. 

Lazkano and fellow attacker Fred Wright have been caught, but there’s no organisation in this chase.

More attacks from the peloton behind, with Lazkano the instigator. Van der Poel isn’t panicking just yet though. 

The Van Baarle/Pedersen group has caught the break on the climb, and Benoot is leading them up it.

Mads Pedersen is also in the Van Baarle group, rendering it even more dangerous.

The Van Baarle group looks set to catch the breakaway, as they approach the next climbs – the Marlboroughstraat.

This Van Baarle group looks very strong. Also present in it is Tiesj Benoot, Ben Turner, Oliver Naesen and Nils Politt. 

Van Baarle has 9 riders with him, including a Visma-Lease a Bike teammate. They have a few seconds ahead of another group not much bigger, among them Van der Poel.

Dylan van Baarle is the latest rider to attack. He’s not a man they can afford to let up the road.

Those riders have also been brought back, but there’s no control at the moment. 

More attacks as that quartet is caught, led by Alaphilippe.

Those four have been brought back by a group much larger than it was over the top of the Molenberg.

Visma-Lease a Bike on the attack now, and have 2 riders in Benoot and Van Dijk with Pithie and a UAE rider off the front.

We now have a group of 12 riders formed by that Pedersen attack.

Stefan Küng is the fourth rider to crest the climb, and is dragging a group to them.

Those three reach the top of the climb together.

Jorgenson and Van der Poel on his wheel.

Pedersen attacks!

Lidl-Trek lead onto the climb with two riders.

The break are on the Molenberg now. The peloton are only about 1-30 behind so not long ’till they start climbing it too.

100KM TO GO

A few ominous drops of rain starting to fall. This could really throw a cat among the pigeons should the cobbles get wet.

Don’t forget that the women’s Tour of Flanders is taking place simultaneously. You can follow all the action with us here.

Søren Kragh Andersen is back in the bunch, in a relief for team leader Van der Poel.

Rex was caught, incidentally, and there are no riders between the peloton and the 8 escapees 1-50 up the road.

The pace has slackened, following what has been a frantic few minutes. Things will kick off again imminently as the Molenberg approaches, one of the toughest climbs of the race. 

Problem for Alpecin-Deceuninck as key domestique Søren Kragh Andersen has a mechanical, and another of their riders is delayed as they debate whether to swap bikes or wait for the team car. Alpecin have looked very controlled so far, but they don’t want to lose two riders from the front of the peloton this early.

The race is really on now! Accelerations are coming out of the front of the bunch, including one from Mads Pedersen. He’s been marked, but Laurenz Rex now has a small gap.

They’ve done the climb but selections are already forming. The peloton is reduced already, to maybe about 60 or so riders.

110KM TO GO

Matteo Jorgenson leads the peloton on the Wolvenberg, bringing the duo back and stringing the bunch out. It’s an acceleration rather than an attack, but the American is forcing everyone to be watchful.

That pair have started climbing the Wolvenberg, while Visma-Lease a Bike lead the peloton a few seconds behind.

Interestingly, Laurence is working with Abrahamson. Alpecin are taking a pro-active approach to being the targetted team.

Axel Laurance is the Alpecin rider, and Jonas Abrahamsen the Uno-X.

Alpecin-Deceuninck regained control on the climb, and they have a rider on that Uno-X rider’s wheel.

An attack has been made over the top of the climb, but from an Uno-X rider rather than a representative of one of those teams.

Lidl-Trek and Visma-Lease a Bike are at the front of the peloton as the climb approaches. These are the teams expected to take the race to Van der Poel – will they dare try anything this early?

That crash occurred on the run-in to the Kapelleberg, which the breakaway are climbing now.

Now there’s a proper crash, with 4 riders down. It’s at the back of the peloton so no favourites involved, and nobody appears too hurt.

Near miss for a few riders at the back of the peloton, who just about managed to stay upright after a tough of wheels. Things are getting tense.

120KM TO GO

Oscar Riesebeek

Oscar Riesebeek leads the peloton up the Oude Kwaremont (Image credit: Getty Images)

Now it’s confirmed that Boivin has abandoned – the second DNF of the day, following Edvald Boasson Hagen’s withdrawal earlier.

No favourites involved in that crash, but some big names and important domestiques – Ineos’ Ben Swift, Bora’s Nico Denz, Israel-Premier Tech’s Guillaume Boivin and Riley Sheehan.

A crash in the peloton, and this time it’s a more serious one. About four or five riders are down, none seriosuly hurt, but moving quite gingerly. 

130KM TO GO

They’ve crested the Kwaremont, and the peloton remains all together. 

The riders involved in that mini-crash were Dylan Teuns, Cyrus Monk, Georg Zimmerman – and Matej Mohorič, whose among the favourites for the win. That’s not ideal for the Slovenian, who is having to climb the Kwaremont somewhere towards the back. 

That corner was leading into the Kwaremont, that the peloton is climbing now, with Alpecin back at the front. 

An issue for a a few riders in the peloton. It’s not exactly a crash, as the pace was at virtually a standstill as they approached a corner, but they have had to climb off the saddle for a bit and have ground to make up.

Van Lerberghe is leading the break through a wall of noise on the Kwaremont. It really is something to see the roads lined for the entirity of the 2km climb. 

Huge roars are greeting the break on the Kwaremont. Every inch of the roadside has been filled.

Meanwhile the pace is really up in the peloton. This is where things can get dangerous, and crashes a possibility. 

The break are on the Kwaremont now.

The Oude Kwaremont has become one of the iconic climbs of the Tour of Flanders. You can read all about it here.

140KM TO GO

Lion of Flanders flag

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bike change needed for Dekker in the break. If you’re going to have a mechanical, now’s the time, just before the climbs start to come thick and fast. 

The riders are passing through the town of Oudenaarde, near where the race will finish in a few hour’s time. The long trek south-westwards from the start in Antwerp is over, and we’re now in the heart of the region of Flanders where all the action happens.

150KM TO GO

The pace is calm for now – calm enough for Van der Poel to shed a gilet at the back of the peloton and have a talk with his team car. He’ll need to be back at the front in a few kilometres when the race for positioning onto the Oude Kwaremont begins.

Liam Slock

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One thing that isn’t building though is the break’s lead, which is now down to 3-30. That’s likely to get much smaller once the pace really increases on the arrival to the Kwaremont. 

160KM TO GO

Now they’re on the Paddestraat, a cobbled sector that comes immediately after the Lippenhovestraat. Everything’s still relaxed – there still hasn’t been a crash yet all day, mercifully. 

Movistar is the team leading the peloton on the cobbles. Now they’ve arrived at the cobbled stretch and the fight for position over, the pace has calmed again. 

The break are on the cobbles, where large crowds are there to greet them. If it’s like that here, we can only imagine the atmosphere on the famous bergs!

In fact, as we speak other teams have taken over from Alpecin at the front. They’re not attacking though, but rather positioning themselves ahead of the first cobbled sector of the day, coming upon a couple of kilometres.

170KM TO GO

Patrick Lefevere

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This is an unusual edition of the Tour of Flanders in that, in the list of pre-race favourites, there is nobody from Belgium’s leasing team Soudal-QuickStep. We’re used to seeing them control this early phase of the race by controlling the peloton, but this year they’re taking an opposite approach, having placed a rider up in the break in Bert Van Lerberghe. That’s the kind of tactic you associate with second tier, non-World Tour teams, not the most famous classics team in the world.

180KM TO GO

The absence of so many expected favourites, be it through injury, such as Van Aert and Stuyven, or through choice, like Pogačar and Philipsen, give other riders a better chance than usual to pull off a result. Could perennial high bridesmaids Matej Mohorič and Stefan Küng capitalise? Or perhaps Alberto Bettiol could repeat his victory from 2019, given that he’s looked in his best form since then?

190KM TO GO

OUDENAARDE BELGIUM MARCH 31 LR Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Lidl Trek and Mathieu van der Poel of The Netherlands and Team Alpecin Deceuninck compete during the 108th Ronde van Vlaanderen Tour des Flandres 2024 Mens Elite a 2708km one day race from Antwerpen to Oudenaarde UCIWT on March 31 2024 in Oudenaarde Belgium Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mathieu van der Poel

(Image credit: Getty Images)

210KM TO GO

Strangely, the organisers haven’t stopped the peloton to rebalance the race. That’s harsh on the break, who had to wait almost a minute at the level crossing.

The leaders had to stop briefly at a level crossing. Thankfully it’s a much more orderly stoppage that than of a few years ago, when some riders dangerously crossed the barriers after they had come down.

Peloton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

To whet the appetite for the action to come, make sure to have a read of our interview with Nick Nuyens, reflecting on winning one of the most memorable editions of the Tour of Flanders in 2011.

210km TO GO

A reminder of the riders who make up the break:

David Dekker

(Image credit: Getty Images)

220KM TO GO

easter bunny

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lots of comfort breaks and conversations being had now. The gap is up to two minutes, and growing.

That is it! The peloton have sat up, and are riding so slow that a spectator riding a penny-farthing at the side of the road is almost able to keep up. 

Is this it? The pace is off with that Flanders-Baloise rider caught, and some have taken a comfort break.

Now a Team Flanders Baloise rider is the latest to jump out the peloton. But his chase is set to be even harder than Monk’s, with the gap now up to 45 seconds.

Van der Poel is by his team car, taking off a layer in what are mild conditions. He looks very relaxed, despite all the expectations he carries on his shoulders today. 

230KM TO GO

Cyrus Monk of Q36.5 Pro Cycling is the first for a while to succeed in getting a gap on the peloton, albeit it a small one. Still a long way to bridge up to the leaders, though.

Still plenty of short and unsuccessful attacks from riders attempting to get out of the peloton are coming every minute or so. This is turning into a tiring start to what is a very tiring day.

Just as it looked like the peloton might have sat up, Dusan Rajovic attacks. Again it’s shut down, but the increase in pace means the race still hasn’t been allowed to settle. 

240KM TO GO

It seems some of the top teams have now had enough and are shutting down any attempts to join the leading 8. Visma-Lease a Bike and Alpecin-Deceuninck have both ensured would-be escapees haven’t managed to get out the peloton. 

Still the peloton aren’t content, with Jonas Rutsch among those accelerating at the front. The 8 leaders advantage has ben halved to little more than ten minutes.

peloton

Large crowds and flags of the lion of Flanders, familiar sights at the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Image credit: Getty Images)

250KM TO GO

Some of the big teams now showing themselves at the front of the peloton, perhaps trying to control things to calm this down. Visma-Lease a Bike, Bora-Hansgrohe, Soudal-QuickStep (if they can still be considered one of the big teams).

Not that that has ended the action – more riders attack immediately as he is brought back. This is one of the race days of the season, and many riders want the kudos of spending much of it at the front.

And he’s unsuccessful – the peloton swallows him up.

Niklas Märkl of DSM has managed to get a gap on the peloton, but still has work to do to make it to the leaders. 

Attacks are still being made out the peloton in an attempt to join the 8 leaders, but to no avail so far. Jonas Rutsch was one such rider, adorning EF’s new black kit, but was not allowed up the road.

Those riders in the break: Durbridge (again), Elmar Reinders, David Dekker, Bert Van Lerberghe, Jelle Vermoote, Lionel Taminaux, Stanisław Aniołkowski and Damien Touzé.

160KM TO GO

A second puncture now, and it’s a big name – Dylan van Baarle. The Dutchman has already had hais fair share of bad luck this spring, with fitness issues.

Make that 8 riders, rather than 6. They’re still only a few seconds ahead, and may be deemed too large by the peloton.

A new group of six is now off the front, and are pushing hard.

Our first puncture of the day – Jules Hesters. That will the first of many!

Another small group briefly escaped and have been brought back. This could be a long battle for the definitive break to form.

The peloton aren’t happy with that group and they’ve been brought back.

Luke Durbridge, Dmitriy Gruzdev and Frank van den Broek are the three riders, and they’ve been joined by a Lotto-Dstny.

Three riders attack right from the flag, involving riders from Astana, Jayco-AlUla and DSM rider.

271KM TO GO

The peloton is in Antwerp and awaiting the flag that signals the end of the neutralised zone and the start of the race proper.

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews‘ live coverage of the Tour of Flanders 2024!

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