American Matteo Jorgenson (Visma Lease a Bike) was the solo winner of the 78th edition of the Belgian classic A Traverse of Flanders, disputed between Roeselare and Waregem, with a route of 188.6 kilometers, in which the great favorite, Belgian Wout Van Aert suffered a fall that can eliminate him for the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.

On a bittersweet afternoon for Visma due to Van Aert’s withdrawal and injury, the American Jorgenson (Walnut Creek, California, 24 years old), winner of Paris Nice, attacked with 7 kilometers to go and soloed to the finish line in Waregem with a time of 4h.10.43, at an average of 45.1 km/hour.

The Flemish race started with the protagonism of 11 riders who dared to challenge the established script. Ahead were 10 cobbled sections and 12 climbs, and in command of a group in theory not very dangerous for the favorites, among them a Movistar man, the Danish Mathias Norsgaard.

With a lead of about 2 minutes and 67 kilometers to go, Visma took the lead of the peloton with a pace that immediately reduced the gap. In the middle of the frenzy came the key moment of the day. A pile-up caused by a crash of Van Aert eliminated several favorites.

Van Aert himself, with his jersey shredded on his back, was in pain lying on the asphalt. Goodbye to the race and perhaps to the Tour of Flanders, goodbye to the expected duel with Van der Poel. Also out of the race were Stuyven, Mads Pedersen, another of the great favorites, and the Eritrean Girmay, among others.

With the race in turmoil, the breakaway and the chase continued. Visma, with Van Aert already on his way to the hospital, put Jorgenson and Benoot in the main group, in the group shared with Bettiol, Valgreen and Kung. Oier Lazkano was not in the front, in a third group.

On the second ascent to the Trieu climb, 53 kilometers from the finish, there was a selection at the head of the race. There were 6 rebel men left fighting for glory, among them Dries de Bondt, but Visma, with two men in the chasing group, as well as EF Education, allied to cancel the adventure.

The goal was achieved with 38 to go. Another race began, the definitive one, with 11 men in front who were already going to fight for the glory of the Flemish race, 1.30 minutes ahead of Lazkano’s group, and with no chance of fulfilling the dream of repeating last year’s podium.


After a first attack by Jorgenson, inexhaustible the winner of Paris-Nice, the Italian Bettiol tried hard on the climb to the Nokereberg, a 400-meter asphalt sector at 3.3 elevation gain, but cramps stopped the winner of the 2019 Tour of Flanders.

Visma saw life rosy with Jorgenson and Benoot in front, two strong assets against a tactical finish. The Belgian attacked with 10 to go, to no avail, as De Bondt closed the gap. After Nokere (800 meters at 4%), Kung tried and the American was the neutralizer.

It was a matter of launching attacks until the good move was made. With 7 kilometers to go, Jorgenson took off. Nobody followed the former Movistar rider. He was the strongest of the leading quintet, and no one dared to follow the Californian rider. A winning attack.

Jorgenson worked his way through the Herlegemstraat and went on to celebrate his great triumph with time to spare. Impressive season for the Californian, who was able to brighten up the afternoon a bit for Visma. He succeeded his French Visma teammate Christophe Laporte, winner in 2023.