Gallery: Van der Poel tames the gravel at the Antwerp Port Epic

With plenty of gravel and cobblestones, plus a unique setting, the Antwerp Port Epic is one of the coolest races on the calendar.

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It’s more than six weeks since Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) crashed out of the cross country MTB race at the Tokyo Olympics, injuring his back in the process. Sunday’s Antwerp Port Epic was his first race since then – a chance to test out his back ahead of the upcoming Road World Championships and the postponed Paris-Roubaix.

In classic Van der Poel style, the 26-year-old went on to win the race, beating Giro d’Italia stage winner Taco van der Hoorn in a two-up sprint.

The UCI 1.1 Antwerp Port Epic is a road race, but to quote photographer extraordinaire Kristof Ramon, the event’s 36 km of gravel and 28 km of cobblestones ensure “this race occupies a unique spot in the Belgian race scene”. Head on down the page to check out Kristof’s photos from one of the coolest races on the calendar.

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