Fabian Cancellara sees Tour of Flanders history calling for Mathieu van der Poel: "He’ll be a four-time winner pretty soon. It’s just a matter of time"

Mathieu van der Poel made it a terrific trifecta of Tour of Flanders titles last weekend with stunning display on the historic cobbles and climbs of Flanders. No one has even won the race four times... Could van der Poel be the man to do so?

According to Fabian Cancellara, himself a three-time winner of the Tour of Flanders, it's just a matter of time before van der Poel takes a historic fourth victory. "After a race like this, you can always talk about ifs and maybes. If Wout van Aert had been there, or if Mads Pedersen had been 100%, or if it hadn’t been cold and raining, then it could have been a different race, sure. But we still saw an epic Ronde. Maybe the other teams didn’t play their cards in a super smart way, but in the end, the strongest rider won the Tour of Flanders," reflects the Swiss in his column for Cycling News. "Mathieu has now equalled the record with his third Tour of Flanders win, and I think he’ll be a four-time winner pretty soon. It’s just a matter of time."

The key moment for van der Poel came on the infamous Koppenberg, where the rain had turned the cobbles so slippery, riders all over the road were coming to a halt. Van der Poel however, powered on imperiously, dancing from cobble to cobble without issue.

"The Koppenberg was the deciding moment, the place where Van der Poel made his winning move," recalls Cancellara. "And, of course, the image of so many riders walking up the climb is something that cycling fans will always remember. On one level, it’s not cool to see riders forced to walk like that, but on the other hand, that’s just part of the Koppenberg when it rains and part of what makes the Ronde such a tough, special race."

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