Dylan van Baarle won today's Dwars door Vlaanderen ©Getty Images

Dutch rider Dylan van Baarle rode solo for the final 50 kilometres on his way to claiming a superb victory at the Dwars door Vlaanderen in Waregem.

Van Baarle, who competes for Ineos Grenadiers, consistently held off his rivals in a superb display in the 184.1 kilometres one-day race.

The 28-year-old's victory also saw him signal his intentions prior to the Tour of Flanders on Sunday (April 4).

Van Baarle crossed the line in 3 hours 58min 59sec, 25 seconds ahead of Christophe Laporte of Cofidis.

Tim Merlier of Alpecin-Fenix ended in third as the pack caught up in the final kilometre.

Defending champion Mathieu van der Poel of The Netherlands, who also rides for Alpecin-Fenix, and France's world champion Julian Alaphilippe of the Deceuninck-QuickStep team, endured a difficult outing.

The Dutch rider broke clear 50km from the finish and was never caught ©Getty Images
The Dutch rider broke clear 50km from the finish and was never caught ©Getty Images

Van der Poel was 58th, while Alaphilippe could only manage 22nd.

But the day's plaudits went to Van Baarle, whose performance sent a warning to his rivals ahead of the eagerly anticipated Tour of Flanders.

"To win a semi-classic is super special," said Van Baarle.

"It’s really important. 

"Last year was a difficult year with everything that happened, but now we are on the good way.

"We’re approaching the Classics a bit differently this year - much more attacking. 

"It’s nice to race like this. 

"I’m happy I could finish it off."

Last year's Dwars door Vlaanderen was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.