Dwars door Vlaanderen – A travers la Flandre (March 31) Van Baarle goes solo
Three days after Gent Wevelgem, Flanders was back at the heart of the action with Dwars Door Vlaanderen. And it was Dylan Van Baarle, a member of the Ineos Grenadiers team since 2018, who set out on a long, lonely raid: “This victory ranks at the top of my list along with my victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné (2019).”
In the women’s event, the European Champion Annemiek van Vleuten posted her first success for her new Movistar team.
Men Results. 1. Dylan Van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers) ; 2. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) ; 3. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix).
Women Results. 1. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar) ; 2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon Sram Racing) ; 3. Alexis Ryan (Canyon Sram Racing)
Gran Premio Miguel Indurain (April 3): The eternal Alejandro Valverdre
Forty-eight hours before the Itzulia Basque Country, Alejandro Valverde showed that age was not getting the better of him. The 40 year old leader of Team Movistar won the 131st victory of his career: “I want to thank the people who believe in me.” Valverde had gone without a win since August 2019.
Results.. 1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) ; 2. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Premier Tech) ; 3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Premier Tech)
La Roue Tourangelle Centre Val de Loire (April 4): Démare opens his account
The best sprinter at last’s Giro d’Italia has opened his 2021 account by winning the La Roue Tourangelle Centre Val de Loire, the third round of the Coupe de France: “I didn’t really have any other choice than to win today. I was definitely expected to,” he explained.
Results. 1. Arnaud Démare (Groupama FDJ) ; 2. Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic) ; 3. Marc Sarreau (AG2R CITROËN TEAM)
Ronde van Vlaanderen – Tour des Flandres (April 4): Asgreen and Van Vleuten, youth and experience.
Nine days after his victory at the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, Danish Kasper Asgreen (24) won his first monument at the Ronde van Vlaanderen. He dominated the sprint against Mathieu van der Poel, winner last year. The Deceuninck Quick-Step rider explained: “I do not yet realize what I’ve done. The Ronde is the biggest classic in the world and I manage to win it! Two years after my second place here, it’s crazy.” Greg van Avermaet took third place, his 4th podium place at the event.
A few minutes later, Annemiek van Vleuten (38), won the Ronde for the second time, ten years after her first success on the cobbled climbs of Flanders: “It’s been so many years that I was waiting for a new victory here,” commented the Dutch rider.
Men Results. 1. Casper Asgreen (Ineos Grenadiers) ; 2. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) ; 3. Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën Team).
Women Results. 1. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar) ; 2. Lisa Brennaueur (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling) ; 3. Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange)
This following week
5-10.04 : Itzulia Basque Country (Esp) www.itzulia.eus
7.04 : Scheldeprijs (Bel) www.scheldeprijs.be/