Attacking Flanders ride from Van Baarle

11 Apr 2018

Attacking Flanders ride from Van Baarle

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Dylan van Baarle battled back from a crash to finish 12th at the Tour of Flanders following a gutsy late attack.

The Dutchman was forced to regain his position at the head of the race after a trip into a ditch on the approach to the famed Muur van Geraardsbergen.
Undeterred, Van Baarle was in prime position to attack ahead of the Koppenberg with 48 kilometres to go. Despite being hauled back by the leaders the final time over the Paterberg, he clung on to an elite group and eventually sprinted it out in Oudenaarde in a bunch that were fighting for third place.
Gianni Moscon impressed once again and finished a few moments later, 21st in a second chase group. The Italian slipped back on the third and final ascent of the Oude-Kwaremont, with the climb also putting an end to Michal Kwiatkowski’s hopes on the day.
The day’s decisive attack came with around 25km to go, with the front group trading blows following the Kruisberg. Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step) jumped onto a move from Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) and the Dutchman was eventually able to forge clear. Mirroring his victory from E3 Harelbeke Terpstra came home solo, holding off lone chaser Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), with team-mate Philippe Gilbert jumping out of the pack to take third.
Dylan van Baarle

Dylan van Baarle

After a bike change I thought ‘now it’s over’. But I kept on fighting and believing. In the end I think I did a good race.
After the race Van Baarle explained how he was happy to bounce back from the previous weekend of racing, and an unlucky crash. He told “Last weekend I was really disappointed but I knew the legs were there. It just didn’t come on the road.
“Today I had some bad luck again with a silly crash before the Muur. It wasn’t a big crash but I ended up in the ditch and alone. After a bike change I thought ‘now it’s over’. But I kept on fighting and believing. In the end I think I did a good race. 
“In the pre-race meeting we said that before Koppenberg was a good moment to go. I was away with Langeveld who is a good friend so we understood what we needed to do. At the finish it’s really difficult to sprint after such a hard race so in the end I got 12th.”

The mammoth 264.7km Monument started wet but dried up, with a rapid start and no breakaway for 90 minutes seeing Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard patrolling the front.
There was more bad luck for Stannard, who punctured and was then caught up in a crash with 98km to go as he tried to move back up. Christian Knees also suffered a flat after some strong early work alongside Michal Golas.
Moscon, Van Baarle, Kwiatkowski and Rowe were all in the mix second time over the Kwaremont, with Kwiatkowski leading the group up the Paterberg shortly before Van Baarle’s attack.

Final standings:

1. Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) 6:21:25
2. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) +12"
3. Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) +17"
4. Michael Valgren (Astana) +20"
5. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) +25"
12. Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky) s.t.
21. Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) 1:13"