With De Brabantse Pijl (7/10), Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (11/10), the Scheldeprijs (14/10) and finally, the Tour of Flanders (18/10), there are still four Flanders Classics races on the revised cycling calendar. The organisation has decided to change the race circuit a bit from what was planned in the spring and to shorten the races in view of the busy autumn calendar that awaits the teams.
The Flanders Classics team, just like cycling fans, is looking forward to October with great enthusiasm. With no fewer than four races to look forward to, the preparations have now started again. In recent weeks, for example, the organisation has been working on the circuits of the various races.
The quick succession of races on the newly proposed calendar will require quite a bit of organisation on the part of the teams. To provide the teams and riders with enough opportunity to rest between the races that will follow each other in rapid succession in October, Flanders Classics has decided, in consultation with various teams, to slightly shorten the distance of its races.
This amounts to a limited reduction in the total distance of the Tour of Flanders, while nevertheless keeping the classic highlights in the finals: 241 km Elite Men and 135 km Elite Women. 'Vlaanderens Mooiste' closes the autumn series with an unchanged finish. The duo Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg will also play a key role in October for both the Elite Men, starting in Antwerp, and the Elite Women, starting in Oudenaarde. The cutting of race kilometres comes after the first climb of the Oude Kwaremont. Due to the change, Tenbosse and the Muur van Geraardsbergen will not be on the menu in October, and the Valkenberg will be added to the circuit.
From the second ascent of the Oude Kwaremont, the men will head into the familiar last 50 km with the climb of the Koppenberg, followed by the cobblestones of the Mariaborrestraat, Steenbeekdries and Taaienberg. After the passage on the Kruisberg/Hotond in Ronse follows the decisive climb of the duo Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg. From the Taaienberg, which was added to their circuit in 2019, the women will also compete along the same final section as the men. After the last climb of the Paterberg, another 13 km await them to the finish in Oudenaarde.
Flanders Classics is currently working on the preparations for its postponed races, subject to measures related to COVID-19. We are already looking forward to 18 October and the start of the Tour of Flanders in Antwerp.
Photo (c) Photonews