Tour of Flanders

Antwerp / Oudenaarde - 31st March 2018

Cobbles

Terrain

Cobbles

Belgium

Country

Belgium

Moderate

Difficulty

Moderate

Riders

Riders

16,000

About Tour of Flanders

The Tour of Flanders weekend is a fantastic celebration of our sport by one of the most passionate cycling loving regions on earth. The 2018 route is TBC but the Pro race and the long sportive route will again start in Antwerp. After last year's welcome return, the iconic Muur appears again before the now familiar finish of Kwaremont / Paterberg.
While Roubaix is all about cobbles and the Ardennes classics are all about sharp climbs, Flanders is a mix of the two with some brutal cobbled sectors and steep cobbled climbs. The most famous of these are the Koppenberg, Muur & Paterberg with gradients pushing 20%. The sportive is so popular and the roads so narrow that on these climbs it is a challenge to get passed the numerous riders that walk up the steep sections.
The route finished with a long flat sprint to Oudenaarde finishing in the race village with a large beer tent and food vendors to help bring your energy back.

Lee, Tour of Flanders, 2017: "Hotel was very good, very cyclist friendly and full of cyclists for the weekend. It is ideally placed in Oudenaarde for the sportive and the end of the race. "

The Routes

Still to be confirmed but likely to be three options - a long route (220+km) following the pro route pretty accurately from Antwerp to Oudenaarde, a medium route (130km) starting and finishing in Oudenaarde and taking in all of the classic climbs and a short route of 75km offering a compact ride of the best climbs closer to Oudenaarde.
The long route is the best replication of the pro race the following day but the medium route offers more bang for your buck and starts and finishes in the same place making it much easier logistically.

Long Route - tbc 220km

Awaiting the official announcement but likely a relatively flat 120km from Antwerp to Oudenaarde and then a very lumpy 100km over all the classic climbs. Last years route below -

DISTANCE  220 Km       ELEVATION  2200 M.

Medium Route 129km

Al the highlights of the pro race including the Koppenberg, Muur, Kwaremont & Paterberg. Last years route below -

DISTANCE  129 Km       ELEVATION  1587 M.

Short Route 71km

Short but action packed with 11 climbs or cobbled sections packed into a relatively short distance. Never a dull mile. Last years route below -

DISTANCE  71 Km       ELEVATION  901 M.

Where to Stay

Oudenaarde

The best base for the medium or short routes is Oudenaarde.

Not only are you right by the start / finish of the race so you don't have to worry about traffic & parking which can be an issue, but the town is the centre of world cycling for the weekend with lots going on.

The great Tour of Flanders museum is here and on the Sunday you can get the bus to Paterberg / Kwaremont or watch at the fan park by the finish line.

Antwerp

A new location for the long route and start of the pro race. Antwerp is the best choice to stay if you are riding the full route as the start is early. There will be a shuttle from the finish back to Antwerp in the evening.
Antwerp is considered one of the coolest towns in Belgium.

Kortrijk

A smaller town but very conveniently located to the south of Oudenaarde close to the sportive start and on the way back to Calais. There are plenty of good restaurants and bars in town and the hotels here are very good value and of a high standard.

 

FAQs

Getting There

The easiest way to get to Oudenaarde is by driving - approx 1hr45 from Calais. Alternatives are flying to Brussels (1hr away) or Eurostar.

Documents Required

ID & print out of your registration.

What to Pack

The cobbles are not as extreme as Roubaix but there are some long, uncomfortable sections. Wider tyres than normal are recommended. The sportive has been ridden in warm sunshine and snow so be prepared for everything. If you are riding the long route, lights are recommended as the start is at first light.

Registration

Race packs can be collected on the morning of the sportive in Antwerp for the long route and Oudenaarde for the medium & short or between 2pm & 7pm on the Friday (de Qubus, Lindestraat in Oudenaarde). Long route transfers to Antwerp leave Oudenaarde at 05:30. If you are staying in Antwerp there is a return shuttle at 19:00 or 20:00.

Start & Finish

There is a rolling start for all routes. The long route should start in Antwerp between 7am and 8am. The medium and short routes start in Oudenaarde between 7am and 9am for the medium and 7am and 10am for the short route.
All routes finish in Oudenaarde.

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