June 17, 2024

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Christoph Vandegoor Suggests The Big Three: “No one is more relaxed than Van der Pol” |  Tour of Flanders

Christoph Vandegoor Suggests The Big Three: “No one is more relaxed than Van der Pol” | Tour of Flanders

Those who follow the Tour of Flanders on the radio on Sunday will have commentator Christophe Vandegoor on their ears all afternoon. How does he balance the two favorites against each other? Does he see an opportunity for a stranger somewhere?

Matthew van der Pol

Perhaps the most relaxed rider of the entire group. He already has Milan-Sanremo and two victories in the Tour of Flanders.

Mathieu van der Poel reads the course well and can do unorthodox things if necessary. If he’s having a great day, he can run off on his own, but he can also just rely on a sprint.

Teammate Soren Krag Andersen may be the lightning rod. He’s the perfect character to go with guys like Tiesj Benoot and Christophe Laporte.

Tadej Pogacar

Last year, he couldn’t make it to the podium and was so disappointed that the same evening he decided to come back and win.

Tadej Pogacar is lightweight compared to those bulky ones. However, he enjoys the unique Flemish cliffs. It gives him a mental advantage.

The only problem for Pogacar is that he has to come alone. So the competition expects him to attack. Van der Poel and Van Aert can play more poker.

Wout van Aert

His win at the E3 Saxo Classic was a huge boost, even if he had to let Van der Poel and Pogacar go to the Oude Kwaremont.

Wout van Aert will miss Dylan van Baarle on Sunday, that’s a loss. But Jumbo-Visma still has an impressive team across the board.

The key probably lies with Van Aert’s teammates, with Laporte and Benoot up front. If there were any doubts among the Big Three, Laporte is the main contender. But will he get the space?

Can someone else win?

As Tom Boonen said on the Wielerclub Wattage podcast: There is always a surprise in the Tour of Flanders. Last year it was Valentin Maduas, who previously won Alberto Betiol.

Depending on his class, Tom Pidcock should be able to keep up with the Big Three. Only there is a question mark behind his name after crashing in Tirreno.

For the rest, guys like Matteo Jorgenson, Stefan Küng or Matej Mohoric can surprise. But in principle it will be one of the big three.

If you look at Milan-Sanremo or more recently E3, it seems quite unlikely that it wouldn’t be one of them. Unless they have bad luck or a full day off.

Christophe Vandegoor

Christophe Vandegoor

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