📅 7th April 2019 (Sunday) | ⏰ 2.00 PM (IST)
📍 Antwerp – Oudenaarde, Belgium
📏 266km Men | 152km Women
Tour of Flanders (Dutch: Ronde van Vlaanderen) a.k.a #DeRonde2019 is one of the most prestigious annual races of the UCI World Tour and is referred to as the second monument of the season.
A list of five most respected, longest and legendary one day races are grouped under ‘Monuments’
That includes Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia.
The race has a long history stretching over 130 editions. The men’s race was first held in 1913, and the women’s race was first organized in 2004. Tour of Flanders is arguably the toughest cobbled classic of all time.
The men’s race starts at Antwerp and ends at Oudenaarde. The 267 km route includes 17 hills (categorized climbs) and five sections of pave or cobbled road sections. The riders get to taste the cobbles after 80 kilometers. The first half is a breeze in comparison to the second half of the race. They have to face all the brutal cobbled climbs in the second half of the race including most popular Koppenberg. This infamous cobbled section has a maximum gradient of 22% which may even force the riders to unclip and run the whole section.
The women’s race is held on the same day over a distance of 159 km and they share almost all the same roads. The riders will face 10 categorized climbs in total, as well as the tough hills. The riders also face the cobbles in the first half of the race itself. The Taaienberg climb is added to this year’s route making the race tougher than usual.
Race favorites – Men
Clearly, the men’s race is wide open with a big pool of riders aiming to go for the win. The race cannot be won simply by riding hard, it requires a tactical approach.
Mitchelton-SCOTT will throw their full support behind the leader and the current European champion, Matteo Trentin, in the fight for the monument.
The race favorites include Matteo Trentin, Peter Sagan (Bora – Hansgrohe), Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), and of course, Team Deceuninck-Quick Step, who would be looking for a hat-trick of victories. Another interesting thing to look out for will be the resumption of rivalries between Mathieu Van Der Poel (Correndon-Circus) and Wout Van Aert(Jumbo-Visma) who are migrating from cyclocross to road racing for this season.
Race Favorites – Women
Mitchelton-SCOTT women’s team is heading into the Tour of Flanders with cards to play, as the team includes former #DeRonde winner Annemiek Van Vlueten, past runner up Grace Elvin, Amanda Spratt and the classic expert Sarah Roy, making it one of the strongest teams in the race. Rivalries include the former winner Anna Van Der Breggen (Boles – Dolmans), Marta Bastianelli (Virtu Cycling) and Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo).
The most anticipated race is taking place this weekend will keep you on the edge of your seat, so don’t forget to grab some popcorn. The race starts at 2.00 pm and is expected to end around 8.30 PM (IST) Follow our social media handles for race highlights after the race.