Van der Poel: I’m a shadow of myself at the moment

Outside the GC showdown on the cobbles, Wednesday’s fifth stage of the Tour de France was also set to bring that rare opportunity to see the Classics stars do battle outside of their usual spring domain.

The likes of Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) were expected to do battle on the 157 kilometers from Lille to Arenberg, but things didn’t quite play out that way. On the day, Van der Poel was dropped from the lead group 38km from the finish, while Van Aert was called into action to help his GC leader Jonas Vingegaard.

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