E3 Saxo Classic live – Van der Poel and Van Aert face off for the first time

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The Katteberg is 2.1km of cobbles and as soon as the riders hit the sector a 12 man group get away. 

Will this be the early break of the day?

We are not far away from the first cobbles of the day. Just 1km, in fact.

The Katteberg is a small flat sector before going onto the asphalt Katteberg climb, that is then immediately followed by the flat cobbles of Holleweg. 

After a couple of undulating climbs it is then the longest cobbled sector of the day on the flat Paddestraat.

The likely reason why there wasn’t a break was that the peloton sat up after the crash. There was a split but it all cam back together, minus the two riders who have since abandoned. 

A solo move has been made by Tobias Lund Andresen (DSM-Firmenich-PostNL) but he hasn’t managed to get a gap. 

First abandons from the race. That crash sounds like a bad one. 

Per Strand Hagenes (Visma-Lease-a-Bike)
Christoph Noppe (Cofidis)

A real shame for those two riders. Also, sees Van Aert lose a key man as the Norwegian youngster is excellent on the cobbles. 

The peloton is still all together with over 15km ridden in this 207.6km race. 

Gives chance to have a look at more stories on our site.

With Christophe Laporte ill, how will defending champion Wout Van Aert perform? Is the European champion integral to the Belgian’s success? Or will the rest of the sad, which is extremely strong, step up. Have a read in the link below…

>>> Wout van Aert without Laporte in E3 Saxo Classic title defense

The crash involved these riders:

Per Strand Hagenes (Visma-Lease-a-Bike)
Łukasz Owsian (Arkéa-B&B Hotels)
Clément Russo (Groupama-FDJ)
Timo Roosen (DSM-Firmenich-PostNL)
Christophe Noppe (Cofidis)
Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost)
Dimitri Peyskens (Bingoal-WB)

No news on whether they are back riding or not. Big blow of EF as Bettiol has been in incredible form. 

The early moves are not successful and it is all back together again. 

Further back in the bunch, there has been a crash involving eight riders. No update on who the riders are as of yet. 

Plenty of early moves with 10 riders said to be attacking to form the morning break. 

We are racing in Flanders fr the 2024 E3 Saxo Classic! 

The official start has just been given and the racing can begin. 

Also, in the news room today… We looked at how altitude training has changed in the last couple of decades and how it has gone from Team Sky’s ‘marginal gains’ to the norm and how Van Aert has been using it to prepare for the Classics… Jst click the link below…

>>> From Team Sky to Wout van Aert – how altitude training revolutionised preparation for the Classics

But, of course, almost all the headlines have been bossed by Van der Poel and Van Aert locking horns for the first time on the road this season. 

We’ve gone into the rivalry of these two amazing riders for you to have a read. Just click the link below…

>>> Rivalry without end – Van der Poel and Van Aert’s duel sets tone for cobbled Classics

The race is 207.6km and takes on some of Flanders’ most famous cobbled climbs. Including the Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg and Taaienberg. 

Unsurprisingly, with all these well-known ascents, this race is known as the ‘baby Tour of Flanders’… Or ‘Mini Ronde van Vlaanderen’ if you want to sound local.

Today should be a brilliant race with some incredible riders set to battle it out. 

Of course, the main headline is the first clash between Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Wout Van Aert (Visma-Lease-a-Bike) on the road in 2024.

However, that will not be the only story told at this year’s race. An on-form Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) may have something to say. 

Not to mention American superstar and Paris-Nice winner, Matteo Jorgenson (Visma-Lease-a-Bike), giving Van Aert an extra help as he is missing Laporte today. 

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2024 E3 Saxo Classic!

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
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