Cycling: Mathieu van der Poel wins protest-disrupted road race in Glasgow

Mathieu van der Poel crosses the line in Glasgow

Mathieu van der Poel won the Elite Men’s Road Race in the Cycling World Championships in Glasgow on Sunday despite crashing on the treacherous streets of the Scottish capital. 

The 271km race was halted around the 80km mark due to a protest that saw five arrests. After a significant 50-minute delay, the peloton continued their advance towards Glasgow.

10 treacherous laps of the Scottish capital ensued. Conditions worsened as the rain fell in Glasgow. As riders struggled for grip, the withdrawals mounted. Monaco’s Victor Langellotti was one of many riders to start, but not finish the race. Experienced riders such as Luke Rowe, Jasper Philipsen, Peter Sagan and Matteo Trentin also failed to finish. The latter’s race came to an end in dramatic style following a collision with a barrier.

Victor Langellotti at Beking by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

Even the frontrunners struggled amidst the torrential rain.

Winner van der Poel said, “[The victory] almost completes my career. It’s almost my biggest victory on the road.”

However, the Dutchman had to fight through the pain barrier to secure it. Having launched his attack with around 25km to go, van der Poel then crashed with just over 15km to go. With a broken shoe and a bloodied leg, the Dutchman immediately set back off on his bike.

“It means everything”

At the time of the crash, he had a 30-second lead, and miraculously, as he crossed the line to be crowned champion, he had increased that lead to 32 seconds despite the quality of the chain pack that included Wout Van Aert, Tadej Pogacar and Mads Pedersen. Van Aert finished in second, whilst Pogacar beat Pedersen in a tight sprint to the line.

Van der Poel is a one-day specialist, having already won the Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo earlier this season. However, he describes winning in Glasgow as “one of [his] biggest goals”. Mission accomplished for the Dutchman who concluded that the victory “means everything”.



Make sure you’re never left out of the conversation.

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram and LinkedIn.  

Photo source: Cycling World Championships