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2017 Tour of Flanders - Ronde van Vlaanderen
World Tour

101st edition: Sunday, April 2, 2017

Complete results of every Tour of Flanders | 2016 edition | Climbs | Results | Course map | Photos | Start list | Organizer's race details

Antwerpen - Oudenaarde, 259.5 km

Phillipe Gilbert

A nice day's work. Philippe Gilbert gets a brilliant solo win at the Tour of Flanders.

The 18 climbs:

Weather in Oudenaarde at 2:10 PM, local time: 15C (59F), Partly cloudy with the wind from the WNW at 8 km/hr (5 mph). There is no chance of rain in the forecast for today.

The race: Here's the story from second-place Philippe van Avermaet's BMC team.

Greg Van Avermaet fought to the very end at the 101st edition of the Tour of Flanders in a nail-biting race that saw the Belgian step on the podium for the third time in his career.

Van Avermaet was left to battle for second place in the sprint with Niki Terpstra (Quickstep-Floors) and Nathan Van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team), behind solo winner Philippe Gilbert (Quickstep-Floors).

Earlier in the 260km race, eight riders went clear in the opening 10km and gained an advantage of more than ten minutes after it clear that the peloton was happy to ease into the action.

The peloton rolled on slowly behind the breakaway until the Muur-Kapelmuur when Quickstep-Floors launched an attack and 14 riders went clear, from which Gilbert eventually launched his winning move.

BMC Racing Team missed the attack and the whole team chased hard with the help of Orica-Scott and Bora-Hansgrohe, however the group's advantage stayed around the one-minute mark. As the peloton advanced through the cobbled climbs and the second group caught the breakaway, Gilbert went clear from the group and launched his solo mission to the finish.

Meanwhile, Van Avermaet showed his strength and went clear with a few riders to eventually catch the chase group and began to eat into Gilbert's lead, following which Van Avermaet attacked with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Olivier Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale) on the Taiienberg.

With 15km to go the trio were trailing Gilbert by 50 seconds when Sagan crashed in first position and took Van Avermaet and Naesen down with him on the Oude-Kwaremont. Van Avermaet was able to quickly get back on the bike and join Terpstra, Van Baarle, and Matteo Trentin (Quickstep-Floors) in the run in to the finish, but the time lost in the crash was enough to secure the victory for Gilbert.

Van Avermaet showed he still had the legs, after 260km and the crash, to take second place at the second Monument of the season in an excellent show of strength and determination.

Greg Van Avermaet: "It's disappointing for me because I was going for the win but it didn't happen. But that's how racing is, you have high expectations and you try to achieve them. I did my best and I came second so it is like it is. It was just a little bit of bad luck but there are still more races to come."

"I think Peter Sagan was close to the barrier or the people and maybe he hit somebody on the side of the road and I was just behind so I couldn't avoid the crash. That was the moment when maybe we could have still done something with Peter and Olivier Naesen. We could have worked together but then you stop, you crash, and you lose another 30 seconds and then the race is over. If you see how close we still came at the finish I think the race was not over until that point."

"Gilbert was really strong and he went early. We were a bit behind and it was hard to work together with some guys and then I had to wait until I could get away and try and close the gap. Then it was still one minute so it was a bit too far. But maybe if the crash hadn't have happened it would have been a different story. Chapeau to Philippe."

Fabio Baldato, Sports Director: "In the end, even after the crash, we got the podium and Greg was amazing. He jumped back on the bike quickly and was able to go for second place. For sure it was a hard race and we were in trouble for a moment after the Muur. Then we were able to almost close the gap and bring Greg back into the race. At that point it was up to him to do his race but you can't control what happened with the crash with Sagan. Greg was amazing to fight like that and bring the podium back. That was the good point for the day but of course, we only want to win. Greg was already on the podium two times; this was his third time. But, we'll come back and try again."

"I think without the crash Greg would have had a good shot at bringing Gilbert back because we saw in the last 10km that Gilbert was looking really tired. Already with the crash, Greg was able to bring the gap back to under 30 seconds just with Van Baarle because Terpstra was on the wheel. With Sagan and Naesen they had a strong group and then it would have been another win. Greg may not have won but he would have been able to fight for the win.  This makes up even more motivated for Paris-Roubaix next week. We saw again that Greg is in great shape and he is a fighter. He wants to fight and we as a team want to fight as a team."

Complete results:

Photos

198 starters, 121 classified finishers and 77 abandons

259.5 kilometers raced at an average speed of 40.573 km/hr (25.211 mph)

1 Philippe GILBERT Quick-Step 6hr 23min 45sec
2 Greg VAN AVERMAET BMC @ 29sec
3 Niki TERPSTRA Quick-Step s.t.
4 Dylan VAN BAARLE Cannondale Drapac s.t.
5 Alexander KRISTOFF Katusha Alpecin @ 53sec
6 Sacha MODOLO UAE Abu Dhabi s.t.
7 John DEGENKOLB Trek-Segafredo s.t.
8 Filippo POZZATO Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia s.t.
9 Sylvain CHAVANEL Direct Energie s.t.
10 Sonny COLBRELLI Bahrain-Merida s.t.
11 MICHAEL VALGREN ANDERSEN Astana s.t.
12 Luke DURBRIDGE Orica-Scott s.t.
13 Matteo TRENTIN Quick-Step s.t.
14 Yoann OFFREDO Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
15 Gianni MOSCON Sky s.t.
16 Scott THWAITES Dimension Data s.t.
17 Tony GALLOPIN Lotto Soudal s.t.
18 Nelson OLIVEIRA Movistar s.t.
19 Fabio FELLINE Trek-Segafredo @ 1min 1sec
20 André GREIPEL Lotto Soudal +2:29
21 Baptiste PLANCKAERT Katusha Alpecin s.t.
22 Edvald BOASSON HAGEN Dimension Data s.t.
23 Oliver NAESEN Ag2r La Mondiale +2:32
24 Alberto BETTIOL Cannondale Drapac s.t.
25 Alexander EDMONSON Orica-Scott +3:30
26 Adrien PETIT Direct Energie s.t.
27 Peter SAGAN Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
28 Nikias ARNDT Sunweb s.t.
29 Pim LIGTHART Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
30 Magnus Cort NIELSEN Orica-Scott s.t.
31 Julien DUVAL Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
32 Matti BRESCHEL Astana s.t.
33 Marco MARCATO UAE Abu Dhabi s.t.
34 Matthieu LADAGNOUS FDJ s.t.
35 Julien VERMOTE Quick-Step s.t.
36 Yves LAMPAERT Quick-Step s.t.
37 Tom BOONEN Quick-Step s.t.
38 Boy VAN POPPEL Trek-Segafredo s.t.
39 Frederik BACKAERT Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
40 Florian SENECHAL Cofidis s.t.
41 Stefan KÜNG BMC s.t.
42 Nils POLITT Katusha Alpecin s.t.
43 Luka PIBERNIK Bahrain-Merida s.t.
44 Preben VAN HECKE Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
45 Stijn VANDENBERGH Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
46 Thomas SPRENGERS Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
47 Alexey LUTSENKO Astana s.t.
48 Guillaume VAN KEIRSBULCK Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
49 Silvan DILLIER BMC s.t.
50 Eugert ZHUPA Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia s.t.
51 Jasper STUYVEN Trek-Segafredo s.t.
52 Tom VAN ASBROECK Cannondale Drapac s.t.
53 Andrea PASQUALON Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
54 Huub DUYN Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
55 Marcus BURGHARDT Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
56 Arnaud DEMARE FDJ s.t.
57 Edward THEUNS Trek-Segafredo s.t.
58 Bram TANKINK Lotto NL-Jumbo s.t.
59 Reinardt JANSE VAN RENSBURG Dimension Data s.t.
60 Reto HOLLENSTEIN Katusha Alpecin s.t.
61 Daniel OSS BMC s.t.
62 Gaetan BILLE Veranda's Willems-Crelan +3:35
63 Alex TURRIN Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia s.t.
64 Ian STANNARD Sky +3:36
65 Bryan COQUARD Direct Energie s.t.
66 Maciej BODNAR Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
67 Zdenek ŠTYBAR Quick-Step s.t.
68 Ivan GARCIA CORTINA Bahrain-Merida +4:15
69 Sam BEWLEY Orica-Scott +4:32
70 Olivier LE GAC FDJ +6:59
71 Mark MCNALLY Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
72 Sebastian LANGEVELD Cannondale Drapac s.t.
73 Michael MORKOV Katusha Alpecin s.t.
74 Søren Kragh ANDERSEN Sunweb +8:02
75 Koen DE KORT Trek-Segafredo s.t.
76 Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
77 Federico ZURLO UAE Abu Dhabi +8:35
78 Ramon SINKELDAM Sunweb s.t.
79 Laurens DE VREESE Astana s.t.
80 Christoph PFINGSTEN Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
81 Mike TEUNISSEN Sunweb s.t.
82 Ryan MULLEN Cannondale Drapac s.t.
83 Iljo KEISSE Quick-Step s.t.
84 Dries VAN GESTEL Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
85 Antoine DUCHESNE Direct Energie s.t.
86 ANDREY GRIVKO Astana s.t.
87 Imanol ERVITI Movistar s.t.
88 Dion SMITH Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
89 Jasha SÜTTERLIN Movistar s.t.
90 Roy CURVERS Sunweb s.t.
91 Mathew HAYMAN Orica-Scott s.t.
92 Mitch DOCKER Orica-Scott s.t.
93 Wesley KREDER Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
94 Jonas RICKAERT Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
95 Julien MORICE Direct Energie s.t.
96 Mickael DELAGE FDJ s.t.
97 Lars BOOM Lotto NL-Jumbo s.t.
98 Dimitri CLAEYS Cofidis s.t.
99 Jean-Pierre DRUCKER BMC s.t.
100 Stijn STEELS Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
101 Dries DE BONDT Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
102 Christian KNEES Sky +11:31
103 Hugo HOULE Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
104 Bernhard EISEL Dimension Data s.t.
105 Twan CASTELIJNS Lotto NL-Jumbo s.t.
106 Lukasz WISNIOWSKI Sky s.t.
107 Kiel REIJNEN Trek-Segafredo s.t.
108 Owain DOULL Sky s.t.
109 Stijn DEVOLDER Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
110 Tom SCULLY Cannondale Drapac s.t.
111 Rudy BARBIER Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
112 Juraj SAGAN Bora-hansgrohe s.t.
113 Rafael ANDRIATO Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia s.t.
114 Bert VAN LERBERGHE Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
115 Gijs VAN HOECKE Lotto NL-Jumbo s.t.
116 Amund Grondahl JANSEN Lotto NL-Jumbo s.t.
117 Yohann GENE Direct Energie s.t.
118 Alexandre PICHOT Direct Energie s.t.
119 Gregory RAST Trek-Segafredo s.t.
120 Luke ROWE Sky s.t.
121 Tyler FARRAR Dimension Data s.t.

2016 Tour of Flanders race map:

2017 Tour of FLanders map


Photos by Fotoreporter Sirotti:

Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert

Philippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen before the race start

Philippe Gilbert

Philippe Gilbert is alone and away on the Oude Kwaremont

Peter Sagan

Just before he crashed, Peter Sagan ascends the Oude Kwaremont

Fabio Felline

Fabio Felline

Matteo Trentin

Matteo Trentin

Philippe Gilbert

Phillipe Gilbert is the King of Flanders

Philippe Gilbert

Gilbert stops his bike just before the line....

Philippe Gilbert

To celebrate a fabulous win

Flander Podium

The podium, from left: Greg van Avermaet (2nd), Philippe Gilbert & Niki Terpstra (3rd)

Philppe Gilbert

Some well-earned kisses for Flanders winner Philippe Gilbert

Start list with back numbers, April 1, 2017:

BORA-HANSGROHE
1 SAGAN Peter
2 PFINGSTEN Christoph
3 BURGHARDT Marcus
4 POSTLBERGER Lukas
5 SAGAN Juraj
6 BODNAR Maciej
7 SELIG Rüdiger
8 SCHILLINGER Andreas
TEAM QUICK-STEP FLOORS
11 BOONEN Tom
12 VERMOTE Julien
13 GILBERT Philippe
14 KEISSE Iljo
15 LAMPAERT Yves
16 STYBAR Zdenek
17 TERPSTRA Niki
18 TRENTIN Matteo
LOTTO-SOUDAL
21 BENOOT Tiesj
22 DEBUSSCHERE Jens
23 GALLOPIN Tony
24 GREIPEL André
25 MAES Nikolas
26 ROELANDTS Jurgen
27 SIEBERG Marcel
28 DE BUYST Jasper
BMC
31 VAN AVERMAET Greg
32 DILLIER Silvan
33 DRUCKER Jean Pierre
34 ELMIGER Martin
35 KÜNG Stefan
36 QUINZIATO Manuel
37 OSS Daniel
38 VENTOSO Francisco José
CANNONDALE-DRAPAC
41 VANMARCKE Sep
42 VAN ASBROECK Tom
43 LANGEVELD Sebastian
44 BETTIOL Alberto
45 PHINNEY Taylor
46 SCULLY Thomas
47 MULLEN Ryan
48 VAN BAARLE Dylan
TREK-SEGAFREDO
51 STUYVEN Jasper
52 THEUNS Edward
53 DEGENKOLB John
54 FELLINE Fabio
55 RAST Grégory
56 REIJNEN Kiel
57 DE KORT Koen
58 VAN POPPEL Boy
ORICA-SCOTT
61 HAYMAN Mathew
62 KEUKELEIRE Jens
63 DURBRIDGE Luke
64 DOCKER Mitchell
65 BEWLEY Sam
66 EDMONDSON Alexander
67 MEZGEC Luka
68 CORT NIELSEN Magnus
AG2R LA MONDIALE
71 VANDENBERGH Stijn
72 NAESEN Oliver
73 BAGDONAS Gediminas
74 DENZ Nico
75 DUVAL Julien
76 HOULE Hugo
77 GOUGEARD Alexis
78 BARBIER Rudy
KATUSHA-ALPECIN
81 KRISTOFF Alexander
82 MARTIN Tony
83 HOLLENSTEIN Reto
84 PLANCKAERT Baptiste
85 ZABEL Rick
86 HALLER Marco
87 MORKOV Michael
88 POLITT Nils
ASTANA
91 BRESCHEL Matti
92 DE VREESE Laurens
93 GATTO Oscar
94 GRIVKO Andriy
95 GRUZDEV Dmitriy
96 KORSAETH Truls Engen
97 LUTSENKO Alexey
98 VALGREN ANDERSEN Michael
SKY
101 STANNARD Ian
102 ROWE Luke
103 MOSCON Gianni
104 PUCCIO Salvatore
105 KNEES Christian
106 DOULL Owain
107 DIBBEN Jonathan
108 WISNIOWSKI Lukasz
DIMENSION DATA
111 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald
112 DOUGALL Nick
113 EISEL Bernhard
114 FARRAR Tyler
115 JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt
116 REGUIGUI Youcef
117 THOMSON Jay Robert
118 THWAITES Scott
MOVISTAR
121 BETANCUR Carlos Alberto
122 ARCAS PEÑA Jorge
123 CARRETERO Hector
124 SANTOS SIMOES Nelson Filipe
125 ERVITI Imanol
126 BICO Nuno Miguel
127 DOWSETT Alex
128 SÜTTERLIN Jasha
BAHRAIN-MERIDA
131 INSAUSTI Jon Ander
132 BONIFAZIO Niccolo
133 BOZIC Borut
134 GARCIA Ivan
135 COLBRELLI Sonny
136 FENG Chun Kai
137 WANG Mei Yin
138 PIBERNIK Luka
LOTTO NL-JUMBO
141 BOOM Lars
142 CASTELIJNS Twan
143 GROENDAHL JANSEN Amund
144 TANKINK Bram
145 VAN HOECKE Gijs
146 VAN EMDEN Jos
147 LAMMERTINK Steven
148 WYNANTS Maarten
FDJ
151 DEMARE Arnaud
152 DELAGE Mickael
153 GUARNIERI Jacopo
154 LE BON Johan
155 KONOVALOVAS Ignatas
156 LADAGNOUS Matthieu
157 LE GAC Olivier
158 SARREAU Marc
TEAM SUNWEB
161 ANDERSEN Søren Kragh
162 ARNDT Nikias
163 BAUHAUS Phil
164 CURVERS Roy
165 DE BACKER Bert
166 SINKELDAM Ramon
167 TEUNISSEN Mike
168 WAEYTENS Zico
UAE-TEAM EMIRATES
171 CONSONNI Simone
172 GUARDINI Andrea
173 KUMP Marko
174 LAENGEN Vegard Stake
175 MARCATO Marco
176 MODOLO Sacha
177 TROIA Oliviero
178 ZURLO Federico
SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
181 VAN HECKE Preben
182 PLANCKAERT Edward
183 RICKAERT Jonas
184 VAN ROOY Kenneth
185 SPRENGERS Thomas
186 STEELS Stijn
187 VAN GESTEL Dries
188 VAN LERBERGHE Bert
WANTY–GROUPE GOBERT
191 VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume
192 BACKAERT Frederik
193 KREDER Wesley
194 OFFREDO Yoann
195 MCNALLY Mark
196 PASQUALON Andrea
197 VANSPEYBROUCK Pieter
198 SMITH Dion
VERANDA'S WILLEMS-CRELAN
201 DEVOLDER Stijn
202 BILLE Gaetan
203 CORDEEL Sander
204 DE BONDT Dries
205 DUYN Huub
206 KRUOPIS Aidis
207 VAN ZUMMEREN Stef
208 GOOLAERTS Michael
DIRECT ENERGIE
211 CARDIS Romain
212 GENE Yohann
213 CHAVANEL Sylvain
214 DUCHESNE Antoine
215 COQUARD Bryan
216 MORICE Julien
217 PETIT Adrien
218 PICHOT Alexandre
COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CRÉDITS
221 CHETOUT Loïc
222 CLAEYS Dimitri
223 HOFSTETTER Hugo
224 LAPORTE Christophe
225 LEMOINE Cyril
226 SENECHAL Florian
227 VAN STAEYEN Michael
228 VAN BILSEN Kenneth
ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ
231 ASSELMAN Jesper
232 DE VRIES Berden
233 LIGTHART Pim
234 LOOIJ André
235 VAN DER HOORN Taco
236 REINDERS Elmar
237 VAN GOETHEM Brian
238 VERMELTFOORT Coen
WILIER-SELLE ITALIA
241 POZZATO Filippo
242 BERTAZZO Liam
243 DRAPERI Matteo
244 FONZI Giuseppe
245 MARECZKO Jakub
246 ANDRIATO Rafael
247 TURRIN Alex
248 ZHUPA Eugert

 

Organizer's race details:

30 November 2016

Today the press was called together in the city hall of Geraardsbergen to anounce the route of the 2017 Ronde van Vlaanderen. With Antwerp as the new starting spot, three new bergs added and the presentation of the finale, there was a lot of news. We sumarize it all for you.

For the first time in Tour history, the riders are departing from the bustling city of Antwerp. The starting shot for “Flanders’ Finest” will be fired at 10.30 a.m. at Het Steen. Prior to that, cycling fans are invited to gather on the Grote Markt, around the stage in front of the city hall, where the riders will sign in and be presented to the public. The riders then make their way to the start along Suikerrui, through what is certain to be a massive crowd. A fan village, with a big TV screen, will be set up on the Groenplaats for all fans from home and abroad. The riders’ coaches can be seen in the riders’ village on the Scheldekaaien.

The new approach route for the Tour of Flanders has already been announced. With Antwerp behind them, the riders wend their way to the Flemish Ardennes via seven “Villages of the Tour”. From Antwerp they head, via Linkeroever and Brecht, to Sint-Niklaas, the starting point for the Tour between 1977 and 1997.

After passing through the “capital of the Waasland”, the pack roars past the village of Hamme-Zogge, birthplace of Olympic Champion Greg van Avermaet, along the Donkmeer and through Berlare town centre. The festivities continue in Aalst, where residents plan to turn the Tour into a second “Aalst Carnival”. Erpe-Mere, where they celebrated Lucien van Impe last year, is the next town along the way.

Passing through Herzele and Zottegem, where they run into the first cobblestones of the day on Lippenhovestraat and Paddestraat, the riders begin pounding on the door to the Flemish Ardennes. The pack is expected to pass through Oudenaarde for the first time at around 1 p.m, when the hill climbs begin.

On Sunday 2 April the riders can expect a total of 259.5 km, 18 climbs and five cobble sections. Once through Oudenaarde, the convoy heads to Oude Kwaremont for the first time (1st climb, at 115 km). The route takes them up the Kortekeer, the Eikenberg, the Wolvenberg, the whole of Holle Weg (a cobble section, at 138km), the Haaghoek (cobble section, at 144km), the Leberg and the Berendries.

Three climbs have been dropped since the jubilee Tour of 2016: the Molenberg, the Valkenberg and the Kaperij. In their place the riders tackle Ten Bosse (the 7th climb of the day, at 154 km), the Muur van Geraardsbergen/Kapelpuur (the 8th of 18 climbs, at 164 km) and the Pottelberg (the 9th, at 181 km). No longer do the riders have last year’s cobblestones to fear at Huisepontweg, Ruiterstraat, Kergate and Jagerij.

The attention-grabber in this succession of steep climbs through the Flemish Ardennes is, of course, the Muur van Geraardsbergen. After five years of absence, the decision to include the Muur on the route once again has met with a warm welcome both at home and abroad.

Past battles on the Oudeberg cobbles have been known to unlock the path to victory, and now the Muur - the eighth of 18 climbs, 95 kilometres from the finish line - could prove to be an important benchmark on the route. Favourite riders feeling strong will undoubtedly be able to test their competition for a first time on this legendary hill with its 9.5% average gradient: an important indicator of how the race might go from then on.

The men are expected to pass at about 2.15 p.m. An hour before that, at about 1.15 p.m., the women tackle the climb of just over a kilometre and attempt to tame the 20% gradient at its steepest section. The Muur van Geraardsbergen also separates the wheat from the chaff in the Tour of Flanders for Juniors on 2 April. They face the rigours of De Muur three times before finding out, at about 12.30 p.m., at the Vesten along the Kapelmuur, who will succeed the Dutchman, Timo De Jongh.

The Muur van Geraardsbergen is the third most frequently climbed hill section in the history of the Tour, after the Oude Kwaremont in Kluisbergen and the Kruisberg in Ronse. At de Muur, thousands of fans saw an unfettered Eric Vanderaerden pull away from the rest in 1985, watched an unrivalled Johan Museeuw extend the gap on its cobblestones in 1995 and witnessed the legendary battle between Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen in 2010.

The return of de Muur will undoubtedly be celebrated by thousands of fans at a huge party in Geraardsbergen. The city council and the race organisers, Flanders Classics, anticipate a huge influx of people, from home and abroad, and are putting all the necessary measures in place.

As the riders pass through the centre of Geraardsbergen, fans can follow the elite men, elite women and Juniors live from this iconic location. A huge fan village will be set up at the Vesten and a big screen will be provided, so that the fans don’t have to miss a single second of the final stretches of the 101st Tour of Flanders.

“The walk to the Muur is a pilgrimage; awaiting the riders an intense ritual,” says Mayor Guido De Padt of Geraardsbergen, revealing his great satisfaction with the return of this Flemish race monument. “The Muur is a sacred place for race lovers and exerts a tremendous pull, at home and abroad. The Muur is an ambassador for Flemish cycle racing.”

“The Muur van Geraardsbergen is monumental in the world of cycle racing, and far beyond,” adds race director Wim Van Herreweghe of Flanders Classics, the event organiser. “The return of this iconic climb is a win-win-situation for both parties: the Tour brings prestige to the city of Geraardsbergen; the Muur adds allure to ‘Flanders’ Finest’”.

Last 75 kilometres unchanged. Formula of Oude Kwaremont x 3 and Paterberg x 2 remains in place.

The last 9 climbs and the last cobble section of the 101st Tour of Flanders remain as they were in previous races. After the Kanarieberg (the 10th climb), the riders take on the Oude Kwaremont (the 11th climb, 55 km from the finish) and Paterberg (the 12th climb, 51 km from the finish).

After this, the riders are served yet another plateful: first they face the monument of the Koppenberg, and after that the front runners head on, via Mariaborrestraat (cobble section), to Steenbeekdries, the Taaienberg and the Kruisberg/Hotond. The ultimate knock out combination is then the Oude Kwaremont, (17th climb), 17 km from the finish, and the Paterberg (18th and final climb), 13 km from the finish.

“These last six climbs on the modern day route are typical Tour of Flanders climbs - they are all inclines on cobblestones. They produce an instantly recognisable and intense rhythm, which has yielded memorable finals in recent years. The most recent highpoint was only last year, in the jubilee 100th edition, when world champion Peter Sagan triumphed, forcing Fabian Cancellara to miss out on an absolute record. We just want to keep the last 75 kilometres as a feature of the race. Its instant recognisability should become a real race tradition,” concludes race director Wim Van Herreweghe.