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Gallery: The best images from the Tour of Flanders 2022

In-depth
4 Apr 2022
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Chris Auld captures stunning shots from the action-packed men's Tour of Flanders

Words: Robyn Davidson Photography: Chris Auld

Recovered yet? It was set to be an open-and-shut case, a predictable affair where the win would surely be contested between Mathieu van der Poel and Tadej Pogačar, but the Tour of Flanders showed us anything is possible.

Especially when being chased by the sheer determination of Ineos Grenadiers’ Dylan van Baarle and Valentin Madouas of Groupama FDJ.

18 climbs, frequently cobbled and including the Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg and Paterberg over a 272.5km course lay waiting for the peloton at the beginning of the day.

As the kilometres whittled down the race became one of attrition. Groups splintered like a dropped glass as repeated climbs, punctures, mechanicals and crashes threw everything possible at them to break riders’ spirits on the route from Antwerp to Oudenaarde.

UAE Team Emirates' Pogačar eventually powered ahead on the maximum 22% Koppenberg with 44 kilometres remaining.

A five-man group formed of Pogačar, Van der Poel, Van Baarle, Madouas and Bahrain Victorious’s Fred Wright. Their gap swelled to almost a minute.

It was on the final ascent of the Oude Kwaremont with 17 kilometres to go that separated Pogačar and Van der Poel from their rivals.

The two favourites going mano-a-mano. Of course.

Van der Poel briefly lost Pogačar’s wheel on the Paterberg. Would this be the moment for a solo attack? Not if Alpecin-Fenix’s man had anything to say about it, finding himself distanced by a couple of bike lengths before heaving his way back on.

Under the flamme rouge and into the final 500m – a sprint had not yet been unleashed. The pair danced with one another in a remarkable display of cat-and-mouse that had people wondering. Surely, they would not wait to be caught…

They would.

In a surprising turn of events the two-man group swelled to four, welcoming back the speeding force of Moudras and Van Baarle who engulfed the Tour de France champion, flanking him on either side as Van der Poel surged to victory.

The Dutchman reigned victorious. For all their determined efforts, Van Baarle and Madouas completed the podium. Pogačar 4th on his debut.

Relive one of the most entertaining editions of De Ronde in recent memory through the lens of Chris Auld.

Men's Tour of Flanders 2022 photos: Chris Auld

Mathieu van der Poel signs on in Antwerp. 

All smiles from Niki Terpstra. The Team TotalEnergies' rider previously won the Tour of Flanders through a solo attack in 2018.

Rock n roll: Terpstra's teammate Daniel Oss' shows off his Specialized after the team moved from Wilier bikes.

The Belgian champion and certified favourite pulled out of De Ronde through illness. His presence was missed indeed.

And they're off: the peloton races under the flag of Flanders.

Man on a mission. Taco van der Hoorn made the early breakaway of the day. His solo exploits at the 2021 Giro d'Italia on Stage 3 are a part of history.

John Degenkolb grits his teeth next to Matteo Trentin. 

Former World Champion Mads Pedersen's best result in this race was his second place behind Terpstra in 2018. He still finished a mighty 8th in the most recent edition. 

The first ascent of the Oude Kwaremont. The breakaway, including Van der Hoorn, still had four minutes on the peloton here. 

Speaking of Van der Hoorn, the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux rider is witnessed smiling. I think. It's not a grimace. 

A cycling fan's Christmas: Flanders decorated itself for the men and women's races. 

Fans at the roadside were a welcome sight in a return to normality. Spectators had previously been banned last year under coronavirus restrictions.

After Pidcock, Jan Tratnik launched a powerful move on the Paterberg. Van der Poel was a few bike lengths behind him, unable to match his fierce pace.

On the second ascent of the Oude Kwaremont, Pogačar made a move that overtook 16 riders with QuickStep Alpha Vinyl's Kasper Asgreen on his wheel. Asgreen won the Tour of Flanders in 2021.

But it was on the third and final ascent of the Kwaremont that Pogačar and Van der Poel distanced the rest to form a two-man breakaway at the head of the race.

Van der Poel briefly lost Pogačar's wheel a few kilometres later on the Paterberg. 

Yet the pair would be reunited with Van Baarle and Madouas at the finish. Their game of cat-and-mouse lasted too long to compete with just one another. Pogačar throws his hands in the air in frustration. 

VICTORY.

After a phenomenal sprint, Mathieu van der Poel wins the 2022 Tour of Flanders.

Excited for more racing? Don't miss our complete guide to the 2022 classics season.