HomeCycling2024 FLANDERS Preview: Who Will Be Victor in Vlaanderen?

2024 FLANDERS Preview: Who Will Be Victor in Vlaanderen?

Ronde van Vlaanderen Race Preview:  The Tour of Flanders is largest and greatest one-day race within the World, when you ask any Flemish biking fan. It has the whole lot {that a} Belgian race can provide for pleasure and drama – cobbles and climbs – De Ronde by no means disappoints. Right here’s our Flanders Preview of the race route and the favourites for Sunday’s Vlaanderens Mooiste (Flanders’ Most Lovely).

*** Watch ‘Chris Horner’s Flanders Preview Chat With Pez’ HERE. ***

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De Ronde – The place legends are made

A bit of little bit of De Ronde historical past:
That is the holy Flemish biking week (actually two weeks) and the 107th version of the Tour of Flanders is on Sunday, following the Three Days of De Panne (now the Basic Brugge – De Panne), E3 Saxo Basic, Gent–Wevelgem and Dwars door Vlaanderen. The ‘Flemish World Championships’ are all the time onerous fought for, whoever crosses that end line first in Oudenaarde shall be a star for the remainder of his life.

Paul Deman
Flanders first winner – Paul Deman

The primary Tour of Flanders was on Might 23, 1913. There have been solely 37 riders in that first occasion, which was run over 324 kilometres. After twelve hours, Paul Deman was the primary to cross the road in Mariakerke. Karel Van Wijnendaele was the person behind the race, he was a journalist and was on the lookout for one thing new to publicise his newspaper De Sportwereld, so organising the Tour of Flanders was good. The early editions had been all on the exceptionally unhealthy Flemish cobbles, which the organisers have tried to maintain within the race as a lot as attainable. In these early years, De Ronde was often held on the identical day as Milano-Sanremo.

Briek Schotte – The primary Flandrien

Later the organisers wished to make modifications and moved in direction of the Flemish Ardennes for the climbs of the Kluisberg, Kwaremont and the Kruisberg. In 1950, after the dominance of Achiel Buysse, Briek Schotte and Fiorenzo Magni, the long-lasting Muur van Geraardsbergen added to the course. Within the Nineteen Seventies, the Oude Kwaremont and the Koppenberg had been additionally added. These two climbs are nonetheless essential. Throughout that point Buysse and Magni each gained the race 3 times and are joint document holders.

Johan Museeuw – Three time Flanders winner (and Roubaix) on the wheel of Andrei Tchmile in Flanders 2000

Clearly, Belgians have gained the Tour of Flanders essentially the most instances, sixty-nine. Eric Leman, Johan Museeuw and Tom Boonen, similar to Buysse and Magni, have gained 3 times. Fabian Cancellara joined the document holders record in 2014 after his wins in 2010 and 2013. The primary Dutch victory got here in 1953, when Wim van Est was the winner. He was joined by different males from the Netherlands: Jo de Roo, Evert Dolman, Cees Bal, Jan Raas (twice), Hennie Kuiper, Johan Lammerts, Adrie van der Poel, Niki Terpstra and Mathieu van der Poel (twice). The winners during the last ten years have all been prime names: Tadej Pogačar, Mathieu van der Poel, Kasper Asgreen, Alberto Bettiol, Niki Terpstra, Philippe Gilbert, Peter Sagan, Alexander Kristoff and Fabian Cancellara.

2022 Tour of Flanders

Within the 2022 Tour of Flanders the race exploded on the Berendries. A counter-attack together with Alberto Bettiol, Mads Pedersen and Ben Turner shook the race up. Then Tadej Pogačar got here into motion on the Berg Ten Houte, nevertheless it was on the Oude Kwaremont that Pogačar attacked for the primary time. Kasper Asgreen was on his wheel, whereas Mathieu van der Poel and Tom Pidcock needed to chase from additional again. After the Oude Kwaremont, Dylan van Baarle escaped with Fred Wright, they had been joined on the Koppenberg by Pogačar, Van der Poel and the Frenchman, Valentin Madouas. On the subsequent climb of the Oude Kwaremont, Pogačar gave it one other go. Van Baarle and Wright couldn’t maintain on, Madouas adopted not a lot later. On the Paterberg, Van der Poel needed to grit his tooth to carry the Slovenian. The 2 raced on collectively to the end in Oudenaarde, however Van der Poel and Pogačar began to play video games within the final kilometre and Van Baarle and Madouas returned to the entrance from nowhere. Madouas and Van Baarle handed Pogačar within the dash, behind second-time winner Van der Poel.

2023 Tour of Flanders

In 2023 Tadej Pogačar made up for the earlier yr. The Slovenian rode away from Mathieu van der Poel the final time up the Oude Kwaremont. He caught and handed Mads Pedersen after which soloed to his first victory in Flanders. A robust Van der Poel was second and Pedersen edged out Wout van Aert for third.

Van der Poel once more?

On the Oude Kwaremont, Pogačar determined to place in his final assault. The Slovenian set a hellish tempo, which was an excessive amount of for Van der Poel, who misplaced floor to an impressively robust Pogačar. The UAE rider had 10 seconds after the Oude Kwaremont, however a tricky Van der Poel didn’t hand over simply and remained at 15 seconds for a very long time. On the prime of the Paterberg, the distinction had shrunk to 12 seconds, however Pogačar was in time trial mode and wasn’t going to be caught. There was now solely two riders who might win the race, the chasers might solely have third place. Van der Poel tried the whole lot to get to Pogačar, however couldn’t get any nearer to the Slovenian. In actual fact, Pogačar was getting additional forward of Van der Poel. Within the final kilometres it was onerous work for Pogačar, however the win was sure. Pogačar was the third rider to have gained the Tour of Flanders and the Tour de France together with Louison Bobet and Eddy Merckx. Van der Poel needed to accept second place, his fourth podium place in 5 participations. The dash for third place was gained by Pedersen, simply forward of Van Aert and Powless.

No Pogačar in 2024 – So who will win?

2023 Tour of Flanders End result:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Group Emirates in 6:12:07
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck at 0:16
3. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 1:12
4. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
5. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Schooling-EasyPost
6. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ
7. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Soudal Fast-Step
8. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain Victorious
9. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar at 1:19
10. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Group Emirates at 2:49.

No errors for Pogačar in 2023

The beginning of the Tour of Flanders is in Antwerp this yr. After staging the beginning in Bruggge in 2023, the organisers have chosen to return to the port metropolis. Clearly that makes modifications the primary 100 kilometres of the route. “These are decisions based mostly on security. We’re wanting much more on the principle roads in order that the peloton has room to realize velocity,” mentioned race director Scott Sunderland on the race web site. Additionally the Kortekeer and the Kanarieberg usually are not included within the route this yr, however the Kapelleberg is.

The 2024 begin is in Antwerp

After the beginning in Antwerp, the primary 100 kilometres of the 270.8 kilometres race, the peloton passes by way of Sint-Niklaas, Hamme, Haaltert, Herzele and Zottegem to achieve the Flemish Ardennes, the place the race will actually begin. The Lippenhovestraat and the Paddestraat are the primary difficulties of the day after 104 kilometres of racing.

Flander 2024

The riders will then race over the same old finale of the Ronde van Vlaanderen. After 136 kilometres they tackle the primary passage of the Oude Kwaremont. From then on the climbs and cobbles come one after the opposite in fast succession. The Kapelleberg, the cobbles of the Holleweg, the Wolvenberg, the cobbles of the Kerkgate and the Jagerij, the climb of the Molenberg, the Marlboroughstraat, the Berendries and at last the Valkenberg all inside 30 kilometres.

Any race in Belgium is a fight to get to the front before every cobbled climb. The Driedaagse De Panne - Koksijde is the best practice for Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen. See the 'PEZ Flanders Preview' HERE. Pic:CorVos/PezCyclingNews.
The Berendries

The highest of the Valkenberg is slightly below 90 kilometres from the end. At that time the riders have accomplished 180 kilometres. After the Valkenberg, if you’re nonetheless there, there may be time to assault. That is attainable on the Berg Ten Houte or the Hotond. After the Hotond it’s the Oude Kwaremont for the second time after which to the Paterberg. The primary passage of the Paterberg all the time causes motion because the Koppenberg is subsequent on the horizon. “We now have made the run-up to the Koppenberg extra straight ahead and we’ve got eradicated the descent and sharp bend simply earlier than the ascent,” the organisers defined. The robust Koppenberg is the place the place the favourites will make their mark. The Mariaborrestraat, Steenbeekdries and Traaiberg are one other alternative for assaults. Traaiberg is adopted by the Hotond, then there are 10 kilometres to the Oude Kwaremont for the final time.

Flanders 2024

The Oude Kwaremont is 16.7 kilometres from the end. The cream ought to have already come to the highest of the milk by this level and now’s the time for them to make life onerous for one another earlier than their remaining probability, 13.2 kilometres from the end on the Paterberg. The Paterberg is brief at lower than 400 metres and superb for the extra explosive riders. From the summit there are 13 flat kilometres to Oudenaarde. The wind will be robust on the run-in to the end, robust for a solo rider, but when there’s a group, then ways will come into play for a dash on the extensive Minderbroedersstraat in Oudenaarde.

Pogačar and Van der Poel on the Paterberg Flanders’22

The Climbs:
1. Oude Kwaremont (2.200 metres at 4%)
2. Kapelleberg (1.100 metres at 5,9%)
3. Wolvenberg (645 metres at 7,9%)
4. Molenberg (463 metres at 7%)
5. Marlboroughstraat (2.000 metres at 3%)
6. Berendries (940 metres at 7%)
7. Valkenberg (540 metres at 8,1%)
8. Berg Ten Houte (1.100 metres at 6%)
9. Hotond/Nieuwe Kruisberg (2500 metres at 5%)
10. Oude Kwaremont (2.200 metres at 4%)
11. Paterberg (360 metres at 12,9%)
12. Koppenberg (600 metres at 11,6%)
13. Steenbeekdries (700 metres at 5,3%)
14. Taaienberg (530 metres at 6,6%)
15. Hotond/Nieuwe Kruisberg (2.500 metres at 5%)
16. Oude Kwaremont (2.200 metres at 4%)
17. Paterberg (360 metres at 12,9%).

The Cobbled Sections:
1. Lippenhovestraat (1.100 metres)
2. Paddestraat (2.300 metres)
3. Holleweg (900 metres)
4. Kerkgate (2.500 metres)
5. Jagerij (800 metres)
6. Mariaborrestraat (2.400 metres)
7. Stationsberg (600 metres).

It might all occur on the Paterberg

The Favourites:
Mathieu van der Poel is the highest favorite for the Tour of Flanders once more. The World champion gained the E3 Saxo Basic final Friday. He made his transfer on the Paterberg after which soloed 40 kilometres to the end. Jasper Stuyven and Wout van Aert had been over a minute down, though Van Aert had crashed. “After the World championships in Glasgow, that is my greatest degree ever,” Van der Poel mentioned after the E3 Saxo Basic. In Gent-Wevelgem, Van der Poel was crushed within the dash by Mads Pedersen, however he had executed a number of work chasing down Pedersen’s teammate, Jonathan Milan, and in addition he appeared to be driving within the wind greater than he would in De Ronde. The World champion additionally has a tricky E3 in his legs. Nevertheless, we’ve got seen it earlier than that the Dutchman will not be 100% in his final race for the Tour of Flanders. Van der Poel already has a formidable Flanders palmarès: In his first Tour of Flanders in 2029 he was 4th, he gained in 2020, 2nd in 2021, gained in 2022 and 2nd in 2023. If he wins for a 3rd time, he shall be an equal document holder. Van der Poel can have Søren Kragh Andersen, Gianni Vermeersch and, for the primary time in Flanders, Jasper Philipsen. The Milano-Sanremo winner might pull off one other huge win, however extra doubtless a top-10 because the climbs and cobbles will take their toll.

E3 Saxo 2024
Will this be the sight on Sunday in Oudenaarde?

Wout van Aert, would have been one of many prime favourites, however the Belgian of Visma | Lease a Bike crashed in Wednesday’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen and broke a collar bone and ribs, he wont be driving on Sunday, or for the subsequent few weeks. The Dutch workforce can be weak attributable to accidents and illness, Christophe Laporte is uncertain attributable to on going issues and Dylan van Baarle and Jan Tratnik are all affected by accidents. The workforce is definitely not as robust as final yr, however Matteo Jorgenson, the winner of Dwars Door Vlaanderen is now the person to observe. The American gained Paris-Good, third within the factors, fifth within the KOM and greatest younger rider, he adopted that up with fifth within the E3 Saxo Basic. Tiesj Benoot additionally appeared good on Wednesday, possibly all will not be misplaced for the boys in yellow.

Dwars Door Vlaanderen 2024
Matteo Jorgenson or Tiesj Benoot?

Lidl-Trek has been essentially the most noticeable workforce within the Classics thus far. Within the E3 Saxo Basic they’d 4 riders within the prime 11, with Jasper Stuyven taking second place after Milan-San Remo, however he was in the identical crash as Van Aert and wont be on the beginning line. Mads Pedersen was additionally good within the E3 Saxo Basic, however solely completed eleventh. He had an excellent season begin with wins within the Etoile de Bessèges and Tour de Provence, plus an excellent Paris-Good and 4th in Milano-Sanremo, then he gained Gent-Wevelgem final week. He appeared stronger than Van der Poel at instances and beat him within the dash. With these outcomes, Pedersen has moved himself up into the highest favorite for Sunday, together with Van der Poel and Van Aert.

Gent-Wevelgem 2024
Mads Pedersen should now be one of many favourites

Tim Wellens takes the management of the UAE Group Emirates from final yr’s winner, Tadej Pogačar. The Flemish rider has been fairly profitable in latest races, he was second in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and fourth within the E3 Saxo Basic. Wellens has the shape, however the win could be troublesome. He’ll undoubtably he a strong-man within the race and will make the distinction within the finale.

Jaen 2024
Tim Wellens – Most likely not a winner, however a person to observe

Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) can even be seen on the entrance within the Tour of Flanders. Each have been racing effectively, however possibly not at their full potential. Each groups even have back-up males in Fred Wright and Valentin Madouas, they may cut up the race or make a late transfer.

tdf23 st19
Fred Wright and Matej Mohorič – Potential?

Biniam Girmay appeared to be again to his previous kind in E3 Saxo Basic. The Intermarché-Wanty rider has been quiet, however final Friday he was amongst the motion. He was missing a little bit on the end and was nineteenth, then in Gent-Wevelgem he took seventh. Spanish champion, Oier Lazkano, continues to be younger at 24 and wishes extra Basic expertise. This yr he has already gained the Clásica Jaén and was third in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Jhonatan Narváez took sixth place within the E3 and the Ecuadorian would be the chief of INEOS Grenadiers, however he crashed out of Gent-Wevelgem and was affected by concussion, so he has a query mark subsequent to his title in the intervening time.

Gent-Wevelgem 2024
Biniam Girmay mixing it with Fred Wright and Stefan Küng in Gent-Wevelgem

Patrick Lefevere has not been impressed by his Soudal Fast-Step males within the Classics thus far this season. His riders had been invisible in The E3 Saxo Basic, they had been a bit higher in Gent-Wevelgem, however the Belgian workforce usually are not the powerhouse they had been, for a lot of totally different causes. Julian Alaphilippe and Kasper Asgreen ave each been seen, however for little consequence. The French double World champion has mentioned that De Ronde is his favorite race and he has to take his revenge for his crash right into a moto again in 2020.

flanders20 alaphilippe
Alaphilippe may need gained in 2020

2019 winner, Alberto Bettiol, has gained Milano–Torino, third Total within the Étoile de Bessèges and fifth Milano–Sanremo, however didn’t end the E3 Saxo Basic after a crash, so he’s one other favorite rider with a query mark.

bettiol flanders
Alberto Bettiol is aware of methods to win De Ronde

Then there are the outsiders: Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Mobility), Dylan Teuns (Israel-Premier Tech), Matteo Trentin (Tudor), Nils Politt (UAE Group Emirates) and Vincenzo Albanese (Arkéa-B&B Accommodations). Trentin might be the more than likely rider to do one thing on Sunday, he has the shape and all the time performs effectively in Flanders.

Wevelgem 2024
Matteo Trentin – The very best of the outsiders

So, who’re the favourites?
High: Mathieu van der Poel
Perhaps: Mads Pedersen
Probably: Matteo Jorgenson, Tiesj Benoot, Tim Wellens
Outdoors: Matej Mohorič, Stefan Küng, Jhonatan Narváez(?), Jasper Philipsen.
* The beginning line-up may change earlier than Sunday. *

Gent-Wevelgem 2024
Mathieu van der Poel – The No.1 favorite once more?

# Keep PEZ for the ‘Race Report’ on Sunday and all of the information in ‘EUROTRASH’ Monday. #

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