In the spring of 2022, the Moeren and the Koppenberg will be two new passages on the programme for the Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders races for women respectively. In both races, the women, who will once again finish after the men, face the same finale as their male colleagues.
A new edition of Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields is scheduled for Sunday 27 March. The participants in both the men’s and women’s races will hopefully be presented to the public for the first time at the Grote Markt in Ypres. The races will start under the Menin Gate - just as they have in the past two seasons - at 10:50 a.m. for the men and at 1:50 p.m. for the women.
The first obstacle awaiting the women in the 2022 edition is not in Heuvelland, but in Veurne. For the first time, they too head for De Moeren. The windy stretch, which traditionally is such a spectacle, will possibly have a decisive impact on the outcome of the women’s race in 2022.
The sequence of climbs that sets out the finale with 54 km to go is identical for the men and women. Via the Monteberg, there is the pass on the Kemmelberg, on the Belvédère side. After that the Scherpenberg, Baneberg and then once again the Kemmelberg await, this time - as for the men - on the Ossuaire side. This means that, for the first time, the women will go over the steep side of the Kemmelberg.
After 159 km, at around 6:15 p.m., they reach the finish on the Vanackerestraat in Wevelgem, after a race that will be 17 km longer than the 2021 edition. And so the women will again have their finale broadcast live on TV, after the men, who finish at around 5:00 p.m. and for whom there will be no large changes in the 249 km long course.
First time for Koppenberg
One week later, on Sunday 3 April, a new challenge awaits with the Tour of Flanders. After the start at 1:25 p.m. from the Markt in Oudenaarde, a course of 158.5 km awaits, including the Koppenberg. Before the women riders begin with the first hills, just like the men they will have a passage over the Markt in Oudenaarde.
This is followed by the hilly zone and in 2022, for the first time, the Koppenberg will be part of the women’s event. From the passage over the “Bult van Melden”, the last stretch of 45 km is an identical finale to that of the men. After the Koppenberg, the route proceeds via Steenbeekdries, Taaienberg and Kruisberg/Hotond towards the grand finale.
As is the tradition, it is the Oude Kwaremont/Paterberg duo which is the last accomplishment of the day before the finish on the Minderbroedersstraat in Oudenaarde. This finish is scheduled for around 5:45 p.m. and therefore, just as for the Gent-Wevelgem race one week earlier, will take place after the finish of the men. The men are scheduled to finish at 4:45 p.m. after an unchanged 272.5 km journey that begins at 10 a.m. in Antwerp.