Tour of Flanders: Victories for Mathieu van der Poel & Elisa Longo Borghini

Mathieu van der Poel claimed his fifth Monument victory, after also winning the Milan-San Remo and Paris Roubaix [Getty Images]

World road race champion Mathieu van der Poel produced a stunning long-range attack to win a record-equalling third Tour of Flanders.

The Dutchman became only the seventh rider to complete a hat-trick of wins.

The 29-year-old also became the first person to make the podium of the Monument in five consecutive seasons.

Britain’s Lizzie Deignan suffered a broken arm in an early crash in the women’s race, which was won by Italy‘s Elisa Longo Borghini for a second time.

While damp conditions caused havoc in both races, Van der Poel used all of his experience to navigate the famous Belgian cobbles.

The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider accelerated away from his rivals on a cobbled climb with 45km of the 270km route to go, and went on to finish more than a minute ahead of the chasing pack, adding to wins in 2020 and 2022 and second-placed finishes in 2021 and 2023.

“Winning the Tour of Flanders with the world champion’s rainbow jersey on your back is a dream come true,” said Van der Poel, who won the world road title in Glasgow in August.

“It was one of the hardest races of my life. I was dead in the last few kilometres, but I closed my eyes and kept pressing on the pedals.”

Italian Luca Mozzato claimed second following a thrilling finish for the remaining podium places while German Nils Politt was given third after Australian Michael Matthews was demoted following an irregular sprint.

But there was no questioning Van der Poel’s dominance in what was the second of the spring’s Monuments – five classic one-day races that also include Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro di Lombardia.

He benefited from the absence of local favourite Wout van Aert, who was ruled out through injury, while defending champion Tadej Pogacar did not take part in the race as he is focusing on a Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double this season.

Van der Poel will now be favourite for Paris-Roubaix, which takes place next Sunday.

Longo Borghini clinches second win after Deignan crash

Lidl-Trek’s Longo Borghini, 32, became only the fifth rider to win a second Women’s Tour of Flanders, adding to her 2015 title.

She edged Poland‘s Kasia Niewiadoma into second place, while the Netherlands’ Shirin van Anrooij was third following a sprint finish.

Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma bridged the gap to breakaway leader Van Anrooij with 12km to go and held off the chasing pack.

Three-time world champion Marianne Vos, who won the race in 2013, was fourth – nine seconds back.

Deignan, 35, was forced to pull out of the race with 145km remaining after being involved in a heavy crash involving 10 riders, including world champion Lotte Kopecky.

Kopecky was able to continue, eventually finishing fifth, but the British rider was taken to hospital for checks, with her Lidl-Trek team confirming an X-ray showed a “fracture of the radial head of the right arm”.

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