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Echoes

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105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
« on: April 02, 2021, 13:22 »


Tour of Flanders 2021

The Tour of Flanders is now firmly established as a major classic that we call "Monument" but in the 20th century it's long been in the shadow of the more prestigious Italian classics Milan Sanremo, the Tour of Lombardy or the much more coveted Paris-Roubaix. In 21st century, however, it's become the one many riders and team managers would like to win if only because of the fervour and enthusiasm of the Flemish crowd around this race.

The route has a lot been toughened in the late seventies and the eighties which contributed to that fact. The Koppenberg was added to the race in 1976 and that was the start of a prospection for new climbs (Paterberg in 1986, Berendries in 1983, etc). Legend has it that Walter Godefroot knew about that climb which was part of his training routes but planned to only tell about it after his career has ended. Unfortunately for him, it was discovered while he was still an active rider and this did not prevent him from winning a second Tour of Flanders in 1978 (after 1968) with the Koppenberg as part of the race. The Koppenberg in those days was often considered a circus, with every year riders having to dismount. Hinault always refused to race the Tour of Flanders because of the Koppenberg until it was removed from the race in 1987 after the awful Jesper Skibby crash, run over by a following car. Added again in 2002, viewers found a Koppenbergnew look, no car allowed on the climb and cobbles much better aligned.


Many viewers, including myself still associate the Tour of Flanders with the route to Meerbeke-Ninove and the Kapelmuur-Bosberg combo as the decider of the race, which is now the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad finale. The finish was first set in Meerbeke in 1975 with Eddy Merckx winning, carrying Frans Verbeeck in his wheel for about 50 km and dropping him in the final 5 km. Verbeeck had these famous words in the post race interview :

Quote
He rides 5kmh too fast for us



Last edition in Meerbeke was in 2011. Since then, the finish is in Oudenaarde. First editions did not even include the Kapelmuur anymore but this most telegenic climb was reintroduced to the route in 2017 albeit way too far from finish to be relevant to the race - even though Gilbert was already in the lead that year - and this year once again ... no Kapelmuur !...

Even though the route is no longer what it used to be, least we can say is that Oudenaarde as a town is much more beautiful than Meerbeke.


There you have the Tacambaro square with the statue of the "Treurende vrouw" ("Grieving Woman") representing the wives of the last Belgian contingent sent to Mexico in 1864 to serve the regime of Emperor Maximilian. They gathered in Oudenaarde. 


Oudenaarde is also where you have the Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen. A museum dedicating to the Tour of Flanders and to cycling in general. It's much larger and more modern than the cycling museum in Roeselaere. Freddy Maertens #rainbow worked for both of them.


Some sources claim it's a 254 km long race but others say 263 km ...

New climb to the route is the Marlboroughstraat. Not a big thing 2 km - 3% av. and on the approach of the Berendries.

Climbs:


Katteberg (152 km) [600 m; 6%]
Oude Kwaremont (123 km) [2200 m; 4%]
Kortekeer (121 km) [1260 m; 6.4%]
Eikenberg (115 km) [1200 m; 5.2%]
Wolvenberg (112 km) [650 m; 7.9%]
Molenberg (102 km) [460 m; 7%]
Marlboroughstraat (98 km) [2040 m; 3%]
Berendries (94 km) [940 m; 7%]
Valkenberg (88 km) [550 m; 8.2%]
Berg Ten Houte (76 km) [1100 m; 6%]
Kanarieberg (71 km) [1000 m; 7.7%]
Oude Kwaremont (55 km) [2200 m; 4%]
Paterberg (51 km) [360 m; 12.9%]
Koppenberg (45 km) [600 m; 11.6%]
Steenbeekdries (39 km) [700 m; 5.3%]
Taaienberg (37 km) [530 m; 6.6%]
Kruisberg-Hotond (26.5 km) [2500 m; 5%]
Oude Kwaremont (16.7 km) [2200 m; 4%]
Paterberg (13.2 km) [360 m; 12.9%]

Flat cobbled sections:

Lippenhovestraat (169 km)
Paddestraat (167 km)
Holleweg (151 km)
Holleweg (143 km)
Karel Martelstraat (110 km)
Jagerij (108 km)
Mariaborrestraat (41 km)

Coverage :

Sporza at 9:15am CET, 3:15am ET

Eurosport at 9:40am CET, 3:40am ET

Rtbf at 9:55am CET, 3:55am ET

SBS at 9:55am CET, 3:55am ET

TV2 Sumo at 9:55am CET, 3:55am ET

CeskaTV - not on the schedule
RTL - not on the schedule
Rtvs - not on the schedule

Eitb - too soon to know
ESPN Deportes - too soon to know
France 3 - too soon to know
L'Equipe - too soon to know
NOS - too soon to know
Rai - too soon to know
Sky Sport - too soon to know
Srf Zwei - too soon to know
SuperSport - too soon to know
Tdp - too soon to know
TV2.dk - too soon to know
http://www.cyclingfans.com/ronde-van-vlaanderen/live

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  • « Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 10:56 by Echoes »
    "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

    Mellow Velo

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 14:10 »
     Quite the epic race thread, one might even say, monumental. :cool

    Befitting, with The Hell of the North placed in Limbo.


    No Ronde for Stybar, as he's had minor heart surgery.


    https://twitter.com/deceuninck_qst/status/1377954136923254791
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  • « Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 16:54 by Mellow Velo »
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    Slow Rider

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #2 on: April 02, 2021, 17:34 »
    Really looking forward to this. So many options this time, it's not just a two-man race this year. Mathieu and Wout are good, but not great at the moment: I don't think they can distance the field as easily as last year. They could easily get trapped in a tactical race again as in E3, allowing others to benefit. Between the two of them though, I'd give the edge to Wout at the moment - his form seems to be improving, while Mathieu looks like he (understandibly) needs a break.

    Quickstep again have a great team with a lot of options, and will make it difficult for the others. Such a shame about Stybar, he looked very good so far. But even without them, QS have plenty of others - although Alaphilippe's form is a big question mark for me. Riders like Bettiol, Van Baarle (who has been impressive so far), Küng, Naesen, Van Avermaet or Stuyven could also have a good chance if they play it smart (which for Naesen and Greg admittedly seems unlikely on recent evidence).

    My guess would be a tactical race, where an underdog takes the win from a long attack, with the big names caught watching eachother. Maybe Yves Lampaert?
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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #3 on: April 03, 2021, 15:33 »
    if my calculations are currect (same as the provisional start lists for those still uncomfirmed) this should be the order of team cars for tomorrow's race.

    # TEAM POINTS
    1.      #deceuninck   DECEUNINCK - QUICK STEP      5590
    2.      #alpecin   ALPECIN-FENIX      4083
    3.      #jumbo   TEAM JUMBO-VISMA      4017.33
    4.      #qhubeka   TEAM QHUBEKA ASSOS      2307.33
    5.      #trek   TREK - SEGAFREDO (team tbc)      2225
    6.      #bikeexchange   TEAM BIKEXCHANGE      2105
    7.      #uae   UAE-TEAM EMIRATES      2088.66
    8.      #dsm   TEAM DSM      1957.42
    9.      #groupama   GROUPAMA - FDJ      1742
    10.      #ag2r   AG2R CITROEN TEAM      1722
    11.      #lotto   LOTTO SOUDAL      1460
    12.      #ineos   INEOS GRENADIERS      1453
    13.      #arkea   TEAM ARKÉA SAMSIC      1295
    14.      #bora   BORA - HANSGROHE (team tbc)      1261
    15.      #bahrain   BAHRAIN - VICTORIOUS      1141
    16.      #total   TEAM TOTAL DIRCT ENERGIE      1139
    17.      #iwg   INTERMARCHÉ - WANTY - GOBERT MATÉRIAUX      1115
    18.      #israel   ISRAEL START-UP NATION      939
    19.      #bingoal   BINGOAL PAUWELS SAUCES WB      834
    20.      #bbhotels   B&B HOTELS P/B KTM      668
    21.      #movistar   MOVISTAR TEAM      603
    22.      #cofidis   COFIDIS SOLUTION CRÉDITS      553
    23.      #ef   EF EDUCATION - NIPPO (team tbc)      550.66
    24.      #vlaanderen   SPORT VLAANDEREN - BALOISE      291
    25.      #astana   ASTANA - PREMIER TECH      179.71

    #astana must really be the worst WT team for the cobbled races since :carrot Euskaltel days
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    t-72

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #4 on: April 03, 2021, 18:40 »

    My guess would be a tactical race, where an underdog takes the win from a long attack, with the big names caught watching eachother. Maybe Yves Lampaert?

    My personal favorite underdog rider is with #uae , where Kristoff looks undercooked, Trentin looks overcooked but Bystrøm is actually on top form - and the last time that happened, he won the U23 worlds with an uphill punch so good Kwiatkowski copied it on the following Sunday race.

    Not the most likely scenario, but the most likeable one  :D

    Another getaway rider deserving a win could be #ineos Luke Rowe.
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  • AG

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #5 on: April 04, 2021, 04:18 »
    nice easter sunday in Flanders !!!!

    Even though Gilbert is not riding, it will still be a great race.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #6 on: April 04, 2021, 12:07 »
    Happy Easter everyone !

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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #7 on: April 04, 2021, 19:23 »
    Oh dear, it seems when van Vleuten does the same as Michael Schär, it's perfectly fine.



    https://twitter.com/marijnfietst/status/1378744481139277826
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #8 on: April 05, 2021, 00:02 »
    A sort of anticlimax to be honest ! I don't know if Asgreen has references in terms of sprint but I really wouldn't have guessed he could outsprint Van der Poel. It really must have been a war of atrition because on paper, I guess he would lose 9/10 times to Mathieu. In the final kilometers, you could see Mathieu biting with his teeth. He really wasn't that fit anymore.

    Gotta love the way Mathieu was constantly looking back like a trackie.  :D



    Something struck me ! We talk about cycling globalisation but the first 13 are one Dane, two Dutchman, seven Belgians and three Frenchmen. Denmark has had strong classic riders since the 1970's, albeit no winners. Rolf Sörensen was the first Danish winner in 1997. The first Eastern European is Marcus Burghardt (former *dd). Haussler (didn't know he was still racing) is first Australian (20th). Bettiol, first Italian (28th). Pidcock first Brit (41st).  :shh
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #9 on: April 05, 2021, 02:51 »
    We talk about cycling globalisation...
    Quinn Simmons  *usa #trek DNF
    -
    Kiel Reijnen *usa #trek DNF

     :-x

    Maybe next year.  :P
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  • Servais Knavendish

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #10 on: April 05, 2021, 11:27 »
    Always enjoy flanders obviously - i was stunned at the finish - for a mo I thought MVDP had had a mechanical - it was not the script that our commentators had set out for 25KM's!

    Putting the top two to oneside - nice to see old golden helmet back on podium; Vanmarcke rode well again and Turgis is so strong and impressive to watch.

    Sagan says that Covid has dulled his edge; but there are surely reasons to be optimisitic that a return to better days lie ahead.

    But what of Pidcock - is he presently just a little to callow and slight to really mix it with these guys over 250km's? - perhaps this year at least.

    Such a shame that we can't look forward to next weekend in Northern France; but a hugely enjoyable season so far.
     
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #11 on: April 05, 2021, 13:54 »
    But what of Pidcock - is he presently just a little to callow and slight to really mix it with these guys over 250km's? - perhaps this year at least.

    It's quite unusual for a 21 year-old rider to already mix it up with the best on a 250 km race. It did happen in the past but it's quite rare. Nothing to worry about for him. What strikes me is that Pidcock is said to be 58 kg ! I'm not sure that is correct. Perhaps it's his junior weight but 58 kg is rather short to mix it up with the best on cobbles. It's perfect for cyclocross though.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #12 on: April 06, 2021, 08:43 »
    *dk *dk *dk *dk *dk *dk *dk *dk *dk *dk
    #champdk KASPER ASGREEN :woohoo

    Didn't think he'd beat MvdP in a sprint ... but then again, Asgreen hasn't had to sprint for a win until now. So it's not that he can't sprint, more like we've never seen him do it before. And it was after a long, hard race.
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    Mellow Velo

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #13 on: April 06, 2021, 20:38 »
    The winner of the women’s Tour of Flanders, Annemiek van Vleuten was caught on camera discarding a bidon outside one of the designated litter areas just after the Kanarieberg, with around 43km left to race.

    But the jury opted not to disqualify Movistar rider Van Vleuten from the race, allowing her to ride to her second career win in Flanders.

    Speaking after the stage, Van Vleuten told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: “I thought I had done everything in accordance with the regulations.

    “I saw someone with a blue jacket and assumed it was someone from the team. And so I threw my water bottle away, assuming I didn’t make a mistake.

    “I was mistaken.”

    But the jury later ruled that Van Vleuten was allowed to keep her title.

    Meanwhile Italian rider Letizia Borghesi (Aromitalia – Basso Bikes – Vaiano) was disqualified from the same race for throwing a bidon just outside one of the littering areas.

    In a statement posted on Facebook, Borghesi said she was also fined for the offence, adding that the cost of the fine was greater than the prize money taken home by Van Vleuten for winning the race.

    Stinks like a month old dead fish.
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  • « Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 22:09 by Mellow Velo »

    t-72

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #14 on: April 06, 2021, 20:52 »
    Didn't think he'd beat MvdP in a sprint ... but then again, Asgreen hasn't had to sprint for a win until now. So it's not that he can't sprint, more like we've never seen him do it before. And it was after a long, hard race.

    I thought #champdk Asgreen could beat #champnl van der Poel after seeing them up the Patersberg, last time. It reminded me a lot of Terpstra vs Kristoff in 2015, when "everyone" expected Terpstra to pull away from Kristoff on the Patersberg, but instead it was Kristoff taking the initiative, almost opening a gap to Terpstra towards the top.
    The stronger rider on the Patersberg, last time,  will last longer, or more precisely:  the weaker rider on the Patersberg is alreadyrunning out of steam.

    Van der Poel is an excellent cyclist, but he has occasional problems getting enough fuel to last through the day,  and to finish strong in the longest races. Asgreen probably knew this, because he talked to a guy called Mads after a race in Yorkshire some time ago.  Probably he saw something with Mathieu and recognized signs something similar was about to happen. It wasn't an extreme collapse, as in Yorkshire (or at the rainy Tirreno-Adriatico stage earlier this spring), but it was enough to take his best sprint legs away.
    Thankfully, the monuments are practically unwinnable, even for the riders with the highest top level, if they fail to turn up with one of the very best versions of themselves. The competition is just too hard for that, and I hope it stays that way. 
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  • AG

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    Re: 105th Tour of Flanders (254 km)
    « Reply #15 on: April 09, 2021, 13:24 »
    It was a very good race.

    I am very pleased for Asgren.  He won this one not just by team tactics but because he was without doubt the strongest in the race.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with winning because of team tactics and being part of a better team ... he thoroughly  deserved his win in E3, but this one is special as he did it simply by out-muscling the absolute best which must make it very sweet indeed.

    MvdP was very good.  He just ran out of juice at the end of a long hard race.  He perhaps needs to have a good hard look at his tactics, and find a way to win that is more than just being the strongest.
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