Muur Money

The Tour of Flanders might not visit the Kapelmuur in Geraardsbergen in 2020 following a row over money. Apparently the race has been charging the town money and now local politicians want to spend the money elsewhere.

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Highlights of 2017: Part I

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Time to look back at the 2017 season and pull out a few highlights. First up is the Tour of Flanders which is such a great race that the fear is the action on the day won’t live up to the high expectations. Only it did thanks to the return of the Kapelmuur and the comeback of Philippe Gilbert.

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The Rise of Nationalism, The Demise of Races

Nationalism, nativism and populism are on the rise across Europe and beyond. Some like it, some don’t but put your take on this aside for a moment if possible because there’s sporting connection to it. Or at least there used to be. Many bike races have a long history of nationalist association, whether as expressions of patriotism or symbolic illustrations of occupying the terrain. Will today’s politics bring new bike races.

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Ronde Van Vlaanderen Preview

The 100th edition of the greatest one day classic takes place this Sunday. Huge crowds, narrow lanes, rough cobbles, steep hills and more await along the 255km obstacle course. Here’s a preview of the race with the route, riders, TV and more.

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Tour of Flanders Preview

The greatest one day race in the world takes place this Sunday. Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen look to make history with Peter Sagan wanting to join them as a winner of De Ronde. But it’s far more than a triangular contest. There’s a revised route that’s harder than and giant crowds help make this race one of the highlights of the year.

Here’s the preview for De Ronde with the route, contenders, pretenders, weather, TV and more.

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Gent-Wevelgem Preview

Peter Sagan E3 HarelbekeIt’s on Sunday and it’s in the World Tour so on paper this is a big race although the course probably isn’t as selective as the freshly finished E3 Harelbeke. Cobbles and climbs feature but so does a long section to the finish line making this the most sprinter-friendly of all the major cobbled classics.

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Wednesday Shorts


Congratulations to Flanders Classics for changing the route for the Tour of Flanders. De Ronde had adopted a finishing circuit that included the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg climbs but crucially a large open section in between that seemed to encourage riders to huddle together in a bunch. For me the jury was out on this, it hadn’t worked so far but a change of weather could alter things. But the race hasn’t bothered to wait and see, it’s scrapped it to bring in a more lively finish where the cobbled climbs will come thick and fast in the final hour. Here’s a comparison of the profiles:

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Thursday Shorts

If you’re not yet excited about the Tour of Flanders this Sunday, perhaps the video above will do the trick. It’s not new but it’s still worth watching once a year. If you need a prompt to remind you that De Ronde coming up soon, note the first campervans have been spotted parked on the course.

France and Italy both venerate their national tours but often as a social and cultural event, people cheer for the yellow jersey without knowing who is wearing it. No country in the world does cycling like Belgium and the Tour of Flanders is the Flemish equivalent of the Tour de France compressed into one day, even a few hours and all the more potent for it.

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