Tour of Flanders Returns to Antwerp with Route Changes for Safety

The Tour of Flanders, a staple in cycling’s calendar, is set to return to Antwerp this year, with alterations made to the route to enhance safety. Despite changes in the first 100 km for safety reasons, the thrilling finale, featuring the iconic Paterberg and Oude Kwaremont climbs, remains intact for both men’s and women’s races, culminating in the traditional finish on Minderbroedersstraat in Oudenaarde.

On the 31st of March, the 108th edition of the Tour of Flanders will kick off in Antwerp, alternating with Bruges as the host city. The teams will be presented on the Grote Markt, with a new addition of neutralised kilometres, taking cyclists through the heart of Antwerp for approximately 5 km before the official start at Galgenweel on the Linkeroever.

The route to the Flemish Ardennes has been redesigned with safety in mind, offering wider roads to accommodate the peloton and encourage faster speeds. Race Director Scott Sunderland highlights the strategic significance of these changes, ensuring a dynamic race with high averages in the opening hours.

Noteworthy alterations include a new approach to the Koppenberg climb, aligned for both men and women, prioritising safety and equality. The streamlined approach eliminates dangerous descents and sharp bends, providing a smoother transition onto the climb.

Despite these modifications, the thrilling finale remains unchanged, with both men’s and women’s pelotons tackling a series of renowned climbs before reaching the decisive Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg sections. The action-packed race will conclude on Minderbroedersstraat in Oudenaarde, with men’s and women’s finishes scheduled for prime-time viewing.

The Tour of Flanders continues to evolve, with organisers prioritising safety and rider experience while preserving the race’s prestigious heritage. This year’s edition promises excitement, showcasing the best of Flemish cycling amidst breathtaking landscapes and iconic climbs.

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