Tour of Flanders 2024 gallery: A battle on the bergs

Rouleur looks back on a wet and wild day in Flanders 

The start of the race saw the two current world champions in pristine white rainbow-banded kits, both of whom were very strong favourites to win the 2024 edition of the Tour of Flanders. For Mathieu van der Poel and Lotte Kopecky, this would be their third De Ronde titles if victorious. And while one world champion's race went to script, one did not.

The men’s race, won by Van der Poel, certainly went as expected, especially after the Dutchman’s key rival Wout van Aert withdrew from the race after being involved in a crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen which saw him undergo surgery. But the women’s race didn’t quite unfold in the same predictable way, especially for SD Worx-Protime, who were absent from the podium – a rarity for the Dutch squad. Instead, the finish came down to a sprint between three riders – Elisa Longo Borghini, Kasia Niewiadoma and Shirin van Anrooij – with Longo Borghini adding a second edition of this fabled Monument title to her palmarès.

As riders crossed the line after hours of hard racing with mud-splattered faces, their expressions said it all. Lidl-Trek and Alpecin-Deceuninck's of elation, wide smiles spread across their faces and celebratory hugs shared. But for others, grimaces remained, reflective of the sombre skies above, and soft taps on the shoulders of teammates signalled a shared disappointment, beaten by the bergs of Flanders for another year. 

World champion Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) in her fresh white kit alongside Marianne Vos (Visma-Lease a Bike) and Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck) at the start of the race in Oudenaarde.

EF Education’s new kit by Rapha designed specifically for this edition of the Tour of Flanders.

It was blue skies in Antwerp for the start of the men’s race. However, conditions quickly changed as the men's peloton rode through Flanders to Oudenaarde, where they were greeted with rain and grey, gloomy skies. 

One thing that the Tour of Flanders is famous for is its fans, and thousands of them. Whether they line the steep cobbled bergs that are so famous in this race or pack the town streets, you can always guarantee swathes of people cheering on the riders. 

The women’s peloton passing through a very gloomy Flanders.

Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) was involved in a nasty crash during last week’s Dwars door Vlaanderen, but he put in a brave performance during the Tour of Flanders and while it wasn’t enough to replicate his Gent-Wevelgem win, he still placed a respectable 22nd place.

Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime) grimacing on one of the race’s brutal climbs.

Iván García Cortina (Movistar) was ahead of the race on the approach to the Koppenberg, but the wicked gradient and slippy surface had its way with the Spaniard, forcing him to unclip and push his bike. This was the moment that would take him out of contention for the podium and see him finish 26th place.

However, it was in this moment that Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) made his race-winning attack while those behind him struggled and fell, slipping on the cobbles in an attempt to shut down the world champion. 

The Koppenberg caught out many riders, with some questioning whether its presence was good for racing.

Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) and Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM) battled it out on the Paterberg to break clear of the main group.

However, in a final sprint to the line between Longo Borghini, Niewiadoma and Shirin van Anrooij, the Italian came out on top.

It was celebrations for Lidl-Trek after securing two podium spots in the women's race with Longo Borghini taking the win and Van Anrooij taking third spot. 

In the men’s race, it was a very different story with Van der Poel crossing the finish line solo, 1:02 ahead of the second place finisher, allowing time to relish in his third Tour of Flanders title as the world champion.

It was disappointing for others, however, when they crossed the finish line in a very wet Oudenaarde. Vollering was visibly exhausted after the 163km race, placing eighth.

Lotte Kopecky's white kit didn't look so pristine once she had crossed the finish line. 

The 2024 winners – Mathieu van der Poel and Elisa Longo Borghini. 

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