Van der Poel helps with broken handlebar to win Merlier

The Dutchman reached the decisive section with the right handlebar off the hook, so he dedicated himself to controlling his teammate to beat the sprint.


The Alpecin team achieved victory at Le Samyn with Tim Merlier ... and his superstar, Mathieu van der Poel, acting as gregarious. Because the Dutchman reached the decisive stage of the classic Belgian pavés with a broken handlebar, unable to hold onto the bottom, and leaning unorthodoxly on a flat stage. Even so, he gave him to roll and check that there were no leaks, trusting that his teammate Merlier, who has already won prestigious queues like in Tirreno, would take advantage of his speed tip. So it was. The winner at the finish line explained how everything happened: "Van der Poel told us that he was going to try something, but then he told us that his handlebar had broken, that it was impossible that way, and that it would work for me."

Even so, Van der Poel had made his solo attempt far from the finish line, more than 40 km away. However, as it already happened in the Omloop, it did not bear fruit. The Qhubeka also wanted to be the protagonist with continuous attacks, with Campenaerts and Wisniowski, but they also did not manage to stand alone on arrival, for which they kept the trump card of the Spanish Carlos Barbero, who had the bad luck of suffering a mechanical problem in the last kilometers .


1. T. Merlier (Bel / Alpecin)

2. R. Tiller (Nor / Uno-X)

. A. Pasqualon (Ita / Intermarche)

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