Tour of Flanders – Essential Guide | Cycling Weekly

Taking place on the second of april the Tour of Flanders was one of the highlights of the cycling year who’s 2017 seen a hundred and first running of this historical race. Previously starting from Bruges this year will see the riders roll out from Antwerp faceing their first section of cobbles just over 80 kilometers into the 260 kilometers race. The climbing really starts just before the midpoint of the race when the riders will climb the Oude Kwaremont for the first time. This long but relatively shallow cobble climb will be important later in the race but for now it just gives a taste of things to come before the riders head out on a long loop including the clients of Eikenberg Wolvemnberg and the iconic Kapelmuur.

From there the race heads back to the finish in Oudenaarde for once again climbing the Oude Kwaremont now was less than 60 kilometers to go the race should be hotting up nicely moving on to the Paterberg at just 400 meters in length this climb is shorter than the Oude Kwaremont but was a maximum gradient of 22 percent is arguably much harder. However the Paterberg has nothing on the next climb on the course the fearsome Koppenberg. The hardest climb in the race the Koppenberg has a maximum gradient of 25% and rough cobbles that can be unrideable in the wet. Add into the mix in narrow road and position in here is crucial whose riders at the back of the bunch often being forced to climb off and walk.

The final two obstacles are to last a sense of the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg so it will provide the final springboards for attacks before a flat final 12 kilometres boards finish in Oudenaarde. A famously unpredictable race the winner of the Tour of Flanders will have to combine tactical nails with group strengths. 2016 saw a world champion Peter Sagan emerged victorious after acceleration away from Sep Vanmarcke on the Paterberg. We could well see a similar scenario play out in 2017. Due the possibility is a small group will arrive at the finish playing out with KG group sprint is Fabian Cancellara, Greg Van Avermaet, Stijn Vandenbergh and Sep Vanmarcke did in 2014. As for a bigger group arriving at the finish together well that seems very unlikely. Was more than ten riders not finishing in the same time at Flanders since 1968. Whatever happens the Tour of Flanders promises to be a thrilling race was the winner writing their name into the annals of flemish cycling history.