ronde van vlaanderen
No one thought at the start of March that Mathieu van der Poel would have made this impressive a come back in Milano-Sanremo and the Tour of Flanders, considering his back problem and missed training kilometres in the winter. However in a perverse way, the enforced rest, during his usual cyclocross schedule, probably made his incredible victory at Flanders possible. The Dutchman was the only one able to stay with Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar on the short Flandrian climbs and then produced his typical 15s power to win the final sprint. Let's look at van der Poel's and other riders' power from the big race.
Ronde van Vlaanderen 2022 did not disappoint despite the absence of Belgian champion Wout van Aert. Tadej Pogačar is not a regular Tour de France champion, who just targets one big race a year, with the Slovenian showing his punch on the short Belgian cobble climbs, creating multiple splits throughout the day. Only Mathieu van der Poel could hold his wheel in the finale as the race ended with a sprint from a standing position between the Dutchman and Slovenian. As Van der Poel and the Slovene finessed, Maduoas and van Baarle returned from behind, boxing in Pogačar in the last 200 metres, whilst van der Poel opened up a huge sprint to win his second Ronde van Vlaanderen. The frustrated Pogačar only finished 4th as he was surpassed by Dylan van Baarle and Valentin Madouas who took podium honours.
Mathieu van der Poel won the hard and hilly Dwars Door Vlaanderen race on Wednesday, showing great shape in advance of his bid for the Ronde van Vlaanderen this weekend. The Dutch superstar since his return from a back injury has uploaded every ride on Strava and is basically the only superstar rider who shares his power and heart rate data publicly in 2022. Let's dissect Van der Poel's powerful win.