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Sporza stars on Tour of Flanders: Our jury picks these Jokers |  A tour of Flanders

Sporza stars on Tour of Flanders: Our jury picks these Jokers | A tour of Flanders

We readily admit: the uncertainty surrounding Wout van Aert caused a lot of cut-and-paste work for the jurors. Van Aert would have certainly had 3 stars, but it has now been removed from the list. Since this tour of Flanders could have a more open personality, our jury members chose the Joker – kind Alberto Pettiol – as a bonus.

Not Wout van Aert, but Matthew van der Pol: Cycling maps are completely different in a few weeks.

Van der Poel started his season on the road just two weeks ago, but after finishing third in Via Roma, his stage victory at Coppi e Bartali and victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen, he’s become the favorite, according to our jury.

The Committee – a mixture of commentators, presenters and analysts (m/f) – was also intrigued by the sudden rise of Tom Bidcock

Until last Wednesday, he was a shadow of himself, but between Roeselaer and Wargem, the world champion in cyclo-cross form suddenly came back to life again. right on time?

Sure, it wasn’t piped up on Wednesday, but no grand prize was delivered either: Tadej Pojjakar He paid the tuition fee during his first exam on the Flemish roads, but he will already have a re-examination on Sunday. Will he graduate with distinction?

Slovenian might think of Casper Asgren† The Dane came second on his debut in 2019 and won last year. Will Renk Quick Step Alpha Vinyl be polished?

And where’s Jumbo-Visma, we hear you think? Is the very strong mass very polluted by the situation around Wout van Aert?

no but Tiesj Benoot In the second grade. However, Karl Vanneukerek heard the clear message from Peloton: “Whoever defeats Pinot wins the Flanders race.” Who are we to contrast with the riders?

Tiesj Benoot can in principle not predict his fast race, his teammate Christophe Laporte Is this possible? The Frenchman was second in Harelbeke and Wevelgem. Has his software package received an upgrade for the Tour of Flanders?

Mads Pedersen Shared past with Kasper Asgreen: He also came in second place in his debut at this memorial, in 2018.

Pedersen was excellent at Sanremo, unable to follow up at Harelbeke, impressing again at Wevelgem and falling through the basket at Waregem. If this choppy streak continues, Sunday will be another great day.

Stephen Kong With a little imagination, he went the opposite way: at Harelbeke he finished 3rd, at Waregem 6, and in between he strayed ahead of leader Démare at Wevelgem. Solo from Paterberg to Minderbroedersstraat in Oudenaarde is quite suitable for him.

Anthony Torges He finished second in the Via Roma, but did not finish 10th in Flanders in the past races. However, the Tour of Flanders suits him, as he proved to be fourth in 2020.

Initially in Antwerp, one runner can already say that he has already won a monument this season: Matej Mohorek He was not idle after winning La Primavera, as he proved at E3 (4) and Gent-Wevelgem (9).

*jokers for round*

If the cycling logic is respected, the winner will be drawn from the list above. But in 2022, bike-specific laws are no longer in place, or they are often rewritten.

There was also a big surprise in 2019: Alberto Petitol surprised his friend and opponent with a victory at the Tour of Flanders.

Is this family Petitol? Outsiders like Victor Campinerts, Jasper Stuyven, Dylan van Barley, Greg van Avermaet and Florian Senchal were somewhat predictable.

Our jury chose these five “black horses”:

  • Valentine Madwas: You’d expect the 25-year-old Frenchman from Groupama-FDJ earlier at Brabantse Pijl and Amstel, but at Harelbeke (7) and Waregem (11) he proved to be more of a man for him in the Flemish Ardennes.
  • Tobias Haaland JohansenUno-X rated the 22-year-old winner of the Future Tour as an “Alaphilippe.” The future Tour winner got to know Flanders at the Omloop (56th place), but proved in the Tour of Catalonia (7th) that his engine had improved.
  • Jan Tratnik: Not all Slovenes win as easily as Tadej Pogacar, Primus Roglic and Mate Mohoric, but the experienced Tratnik can put everyone on the shelf as a pacemaker. Bahrain’s foreman, 32-year-old Victorious, ranked ninth in Sanremo and Warjem.
  • Jonathan NarvaezThe 25-year-old Ineos block left Ecuador’s Gent-Wevelgem after a painful fall on Kemmelberg, but if he recovers, he should be able to confirm his sixth place from Strade Bianche and E3.
  • Michael Valgren: In 2018 he won the Omloop and Amstel races, and last year he finished third in the World Championships in Leuven. 30-year-old Dane of EF-EasyPost hovers everywhere in between and on a talented day his rivals might see him on stage again.
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