Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Cycling Update: Tour of Flanders


Men's Edition:  For the 3rd year in a row it came down to a sprint that included Mathieu van der Poel.  He's now won 2 of the last 3 editions of this race and this year came as a real surprise as he had just been able to return to racing after some injuries.  It looked like for the 3rd year in a row it would be a two up sprint, but he and Tadej Pogacar started playing games in the last kilometer and were caught by the two chasing behind with about 100m to go.  Pogacar ended up getting boxed out and van der Poel was able to sprint to the win.  

We have to take a minute to talk about Tadej Pogacar here.  He is the defending two time champ of the Tour of France.  The last time a Tour winner won Flanders was when Eddy Merckx did it in 1969.  Normally the kind of rider who can win the Tour is not the same kind of rider who can win Flanders, but Pogacar was by far the strongest rider in this Flanders and should have at least gotten second place.  He lost because van der Poel was able to barely hang on time and again on the steep sections when Pogacar would distance everyone else.  Check out the video to see the finish as well as the moment where Pogacar went up a cobbled climb like everyone else was sitting still.  

Here is the top 10 taken from CyclingNews

Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix6:18:30
2Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers
3Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
5Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ0:00:02
6Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
7Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious0:00:11
8Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo0:00:48
9Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma
10Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux  

Women's Edition:  This race was very similar to the men's race and almost identical to the women's Strade Bianche where Lotte Kopecky beat Annemiek van Vleuten in a final sprint after sitting on her wheel with every acceleration van Vleuten made to leave the rest of the field behind.  I love this video posted by Kopecky's team.  They don't hide the fact they they followed van Vleuten time and again.  

Here is the top 10 taken from CyclingNews.

Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx4:11:21
2Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar Team Women
3Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx0:00:02
4Arlenis Sierra Canadilla (Cub) Movistar Team Women0:00:40
5Marlen Reusser (Swi) SD Worx
6Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
7Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
8Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-Sram Racing
9Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:00:42
10Marta Bastianelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ0:01:10


  1. Inspired by the Worldle game app, I've been trying to get better at world geography. I'm pleased to see that I already knew where the Netherlands and Belgium are. I'm thinking about starting at daily feature at the HP, "Yesterday's Worldle," which I come back to off and on throughout the day as I discover new things about the mystery country in the previous day's Worldle. For example, yesterday's Worldle country was Somalia, and I know almost nothing about Somalia. I don't believe I'd ever even heard of the "Land of Punt."

  2. Yesterday's Worldle was Japan, and I was disappointed it took me three to get it. On first look at the unidentified map, I thought to myself, "That looks like a group of islands near Japan." So my first guess was Philippines. Anyway, I realized that the mind's-eye picture I have always held of Japan was actually New Jersey, so I was thankful to the Worldle for having rooted out that error from my brain.

    I have a friend who believes The New York Times rigs the Wordle ("Wordle," not "Worldle") to promote different things--that maybe they are selling the mystery word to various commercial interests. Not long after the newspaper bought out the Wordle dude, this friend started posting on his Facebook page about how the mystery words seemed to connect with, for example, movies that were opening that particular week or whatever.

    Anyway, it's interesting that yesterday's Worldle was Japan, and yesterday was the opening round of the Masters golf tournament, which was won in 2021 by Hideki Matsuyama of Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan. Says super Wikipedia: "The most popular professional sports in Japan are baseball, Association football, golf, tennis and sumo wrestling."