Preview Tour of Flanders | Ultimate clash Van der Poel...

The Tour of Flanders-light is on the program! No audience, countless VIPS, beer tents and other festivities, but the most important thing remains: full speed course! In the Leader’s jersey has all the information about the classic of the classics for you.

‘Stay at home’ is the widely used term surrounding this edition of the Tour of Flanders. ‘No audience allowed on slopes, start and finish zones and other busy places.’ Do your Sunday package So let’s go, make a nice breakfast and turn on the TV at nine (!) in the morning. Fall in love with the presentation arts of Karl Vannieuwkerke and the smooth analyzes of Eddy Planckaert, but don’t come to the competition to cheer on your favorites!

Anyway, so much for the operational corona part. We can already clap our hands that ‘De Ronde’ will continue, given that similar one-day races such as Paris-Roubaix and the Amstel Gold Race are canceled here and there. A big compliment to Flanders Classics, the organization behind the Tour of Flanders that managed to keep this race alive in 2020.

History Tour of Flanders

Since the Tour of Flanders came to the fore in Oudenaarde in 2012, the greats have come to the surface year after year. Previously, in Meerbeke, an outsider like Nick Nuyens, Steffen Wesemann or Stijn Devolder could sometimes take the win, but that changed due to the heavy loop along the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg.

Think about it, between 2012 and 2018 Boonen, Cancellara, Cancellara, Kristoff, Sagan, Gilbert and Terpstra are successively on the honors list. All winners of several monuments, Tour rides and so on. Until the Tuscan Alberto Bettiol suddenly surfaced last year on the Paterberg.

Not a dream winner like Wout van Aert or Mathieu van der Poel for the organization, but undoubtedly a revelation for the average cycling enthusiast. Because Bettiol certainly did not steal the victory, he was simply the best on the first April Sunday of 2019. The Scandinavian bears Kasper Asgreen and Alexander Kristoff were allowed on the podium.

Alberto Bettiol, last year on the Paterberg (photo: Sirotti)

Latest winners of the Tour of Flanders

2019 Alberto Bettiol
2018 Niki Terpstra
2017 Philippe Gilbert
2016 Peter Sagan
2015 Alexander Kristoff
2014 Fabian Cancellara
2013 Fabian Cancellara
2012 Tom Boonen
2011 Nick Nuyens
2010 Fabian Cancellara

Route and times Tour of Flanders 2020

Corona and the subsequent (health) crisis cause two drastic changes to the Tour of Flanders route. Firstly, the price is shortened considerably. Instead of 270 kilometers, the riders present have to cover 244 kilometers on Sunday. Those kilometers are mainly canceled around the excursion towards the Kapelmuur, better known as the Muur van Geraardsbergen. This slope, like Tenbosse, is not included in the course.

We won’t see Wout van Aert on the Muur van Geraardsbergen this year (photo: Sirotti)

These changes will not cause any unbelievable differences for the game. There is still plenty of beauty left and the last fifty kilometers remain unchanged. In total, seventeen slopes and six cobblestone sections have to be completed, three of which are the Oude Kwaremont and twice the Paterberg, the traditional executioners of recent years. But don’t be mistaken on these two slopes, the Koppenberg and Taaienberg are also names that sound like a clock, but run like Death Road in La Paz, Bolivia.

Climbs
101 km: Kattenberg (600 m at 6.7%)
120 km: Oude Kwaremont (2200 m at 4%)
131 km: Short turn (1000 m to 6.4%)
138 km: Eikenberg (1200 m at 5.2%)
141 km: Wolvenberg (645 m at 7.9%)
150 km: Leberg (950 m aan 4,2%x)
154 km: Berendries (940 m at 7%)
160 km: Valkenberg (875 m to 6%)
173 km: Canary Mountain (1000 m to 7.7%)
189 km: Oude Kwaremont – 2nd passage
192 km: Paterberg (360 m to 12.9%)
199 km: Koppenberg (600 m at 11.6% average)
204 km: Steenbeekdries (700 m at 5.3%)
207 km: Taaienberg (530 m to 6.6%)
217 km: Kruisberg (2500 m at 5%)
227 km: Oude Kwaremont – 3rd passage
230 km: Paterberg – 2nd passage

Kasseistroken
84 km: Lipshovestraat (1300 m)
86 km: Paddestraat (1500 m)
139 km: Holleweg (1500 m)
144 km: Haaghoek (2000 m)
226 km: Mariaborrestraat (2000 m)

Times
Start: 09.45 am
First time loop Oude Kwaremont / Paterberg: Around 2:20 pm
Finish: Around 3.45 pm

Favorites Tour of Flanders 2020

Two riders annex cyclists stand out: Mathieu van der Poel in Wout van Aert will be watched by everyone and everyone on the third October Sunday of 2020. The Netherlands-Belgium was not a possibility at the European Football Championship this year, but the battle between the two ruffs from the cross is a close second in this sports year. Both unique, both full of class and swagger and, above all, both eager to win.

Among the two top favorites is a rank of men who undoubtedly hope for the same situation as in Gent-Wevelgem, where Van Aert and Van der Poel killed each other. Alberto Bettiol was able to stay closest to the Flemish and the Dutch in that course on the Kemmelberg and, as defending champion, is keen on repeating moves. Mads Pedersen Gent-Wevelgem eventually won, but struggled with hamstring problems afterwards and it is uncertain whether the former world champion will become fully fit for the Tour.

Mads Pedersen, winner of Gent-Wevelgem (photo: Sirotti)

Deceuninck-Quick-Step also returns with an A-selection to starting place Antwerp. Julian Alaphilippe Van der Poel put it in the Brabantse Pijl, but the world champion stands for his baptism of fire in the cobbled classics. On the Paterberg and Koppenberg in particular, Alaphilippe can sometimes get into trouble, because power from the lower back on those steep cobblestones gives the advantage over the en danseuse style of the swift Frenchman. No problem for Patrick Lefevere’s team, because also Kasper Asgreen (second last year), Florian Senechal (second in Ghent-Wevelgem), Zdenek Stybar in Yves Lampaert make their appearance.

Other top five customers in Gent-Wevelgem, Stefan Küng in Matteo Trentin, can also be dangerous. This also applies to the two leaders of Team Sunweb, Søren Kragh Andersen in Tiesj Benoot. Other outsiders worth mentioning listen to the names Oliver Naesen (AG2R), Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First), Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) en Niki Terpstra (Total-Direct Energy).

If it came to a small group sprint, be Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates), John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain McLaren) en Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers) names you don’t like to take to the line. Finally, two outsiders among the outsiders, namely: Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal) en Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ). And what can the Dutch do Dylan van Baarle in Mike Teunissen?

TV Tour of Flanders 2020

Would you like to watch the Tour from the start? Then set the alarm! Sporza switches on at nine in the morning with extensive analyzes, interviews and of course the first live images. Michel Wuyts and José De Cauwer will then provide you with detailed commentary throughout the day, while Karl Vannieuwkerke will take care of the guests before and after. Do not expect crazy weather conditions, there is hardly any wind and the temperature stays around twelve degrees with a light sun.

Also the WE broadcasts the Tour of Flanders, albeit from 13.10 in the afternoon. Eurosport prefers the Giro on its main channel, but offers the Eurosport Player for live images. You can also find a live stream via NOS.nl, until the finish around 3.45 pm. Bee In the Leader’s jersey you will also be provided with your comfort throughout the day, by means of a live blog. Enjoy it all! (photos: Sirotti)

Tom van der Salm | Mail: [email protected]

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