So far this spring classics season, Mathieu van der Poel has done some cool stuff and won some bike races, but those feats were just prologue for an insane finish at Sunday’s Amstel Gold race in the Netherlands.
With 5km to go, Van der Poel and his group were 45 seconds behind race leaders Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step). The gap was still at nearly 30 seconds with 2 km to go. By the 1-minute-per-10-km rule or whatever metric you want to use, Van der Poel’s fifth win of his European spring campaign appeared to be out of reach.
As cyclocross—and now road—fans know, you can never count out the Dutch wunderkind.
With six riders in tow, Van der Poel put his head down and drove a train of riders that first swallowed up Max Schachmann (Bora – Hansgrohe) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton – Scott).
Then, when the now final group of three putzed around getting ready for the sprint, Van der Poel, with a little help, continued to close the quickly disappearing gap.
With about 600m left, Van der Poel jumped on the front for the final push to the end. EF Education First’s Simon Clarke buckled up in second wheel for the ride.
For the second straight race, Van der Poel sprinted to win from his group’s first position, giving him a perfect finish to an insane comeback.
You can watch the last 2km via Sporza.
Want to see how crazy the finish was live? Here are some fans at a bar in the Netherlands going nuts:
— Thomas (@reynjt) April 21, 2019
If you have not gotten enough of Van der Poel’s crazy win, here is the finish set to the music from Titanic.
Featured image: Lizzie Haumesser