Where all of the madness culminates.

Where all of the madness culminates.

Post updated on March 12, 2024



The prestigious Tour of Flanders is a gritty grind over bone-shaking terrain which inevitably fractures the peloton and sets the stage for heroic breakaways and memorable stories.
It is one of the five Monuments of Cycling Classics and will be held on Sunday 31st of March 2024.

Throughout the race’s rich history, the cobbles (or pave as they are referred to), have been a catalyst for high drama. Riders bunnyhop onto pavements, and narrowly miss passionate spectators to fight for their slice of smoother terrain. The gladiators, as they are often referred to, face energy-sapping head/cross winds and often rain, that turns the peloton ashen with mud.

Cycling is to Flanders what football is to Britain or ice hockey to Canada.

The list of previous winners is full of the great Classics riders, from Rik van Looy, Roger De Vlaeminck and Eddy Merckx to contemporary greats Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen.
No rider has ever won here more than three times, illustrating just how difficult a race it is to triumph in. Victory here is never simply a matter of being the strongest rider, but requires a perfect combination of tactics, team support, strength, as well as luck.


“If you have too high of a cadence you jump. If you have too low of a cadence you blow. If you have the right cadence you float.” - Fabian Cancellara, Flanders winner 2010,2013,2014.

Racing over cobblestones is always a challenge, but the Tour of Flanders is arguably the toughest of all. The riders face a total of eighteen cobbled climbs, each of them notorious not just for their difficulty, but for the many years of history they have encountered since the first edition of the Ronde back in 1913.
Clearing the cobbles is a skill which the Belgians excel at. The objective is to push a higher than usual gear and attack them as fast as you can.

Most famous of all is the Koppenberg, an absurdly difficult climb, thanks to its maximum gradient of 22% on the trickiest parts with uneven cobbles. Quite often, riders slow to the point of losing their balance, especially those at the back of the peloton, who have to dismount and scramble to the top on foot.
Since 2012 (when the much-loved Muur Van Geraardsbergen was removed), the Koppenberg has been pushed back to just 45km from the finish which plays a more decisive part in how the race unfolds.
However, it’s the one-two combination punch of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg that are the most crucial. They are both climbed in succession shortly prior to the Koppenberg, the former punishingly long and the latter incredibly steep. But it’s the final time over each, that will become the moment of truth in this great race.
That said, Flanders never plays out in a straightforward manner.


Where: Belgium
When: Sunday 31st March 2024
Rank: UCI WorldTour
Distance: 270.8km
The women’s race which is held on the same day as the men’s, celebrated its first edition in 2004.


Cobbled highlights to look forward to include:
  • Molenberg: Molenberg, Zwalm. Climbs 32m from 24m to 56m. Maximum 17 per cent.
  • Oude Kwaremont: Broekstraat, Kwaremontplein, Schilderstraat, Kluisbergen. Climbs 93m from 18m to 111m. Maximum 11 per cent.
  • Koppenberg: Steengat, Koppenberg, Oudenaarde-Melden. Climbs 64m from 13m to 77m; Maximum 25 per cent at inside of bend, otherwise 22 per cent.
  • Taaienberg: Taaienberg, Maarkedal-Etikhove. Climbs 45m from 37m to 82m. Maximum 18 per cent.
  • Berg ter Stene: Stene, Horebeke. Climbs 68m from 32m to 100m. Maximum 9 per cent.
  • Leberg: Leberg, Brakel-Zegelsem. Climbs 39m from 60m to 9m. Maximum 15 per cent.
  • Berendries: Berendries, Brakel-Sint-Maria-Oudenhove. Climbs 65m from 33m to 98m. Maximum 14 per cent.
  • Valkenberg: Valkenbergstraat, Brakel-Nederbrakel. Climbs 53m from 45m to 98m. Maximum 15 per cent.
  • Muur-Kapelmuur: Abdijstraat, Ouderbergstraat, Oudeberg, Gerardsbergen. Climbs 77m from 33m to 110m. Maximum 20 per cent.
  • Bosberg: Kapellestraat, Geraardsbergen-Moerbeke. Climbs 40m from 65m to 105m. Maximum 11 per cent.
  • Tenbosse: Olifantstraat, Brakel. Climbs 28m from 45m to 73m. Maximum 14 per cent.


2001 Gianluca Bortolami (ITA) Tacconi Sport–Vini Caldirola
2002 Andrea Tafi (ITA) Mapei–Quick-Step
2003 Peter van Petegem (BEL) Lotto–Domo
2004 Steffen Wesemann (GER) T-Mobile Team
2005 Tom Boonen (BEL) Quick-Step–Innergetic
2006 Tom Boonen (BEL) Quick-Step–Innergetic
2007 Alessandro Ballan (ITA) Lampre–Fondital
2008 Stijn Devolder (BEL) Quick-Step
2009 Stijn Devolder (BEL) Quick-Step
2010 Fabian Cancellara (SUI) Team Saxo Bank
2011 Nick Nuyens (BEL) Saxo Bank–SunGard
2012 Tom Boonen (BEL) Omega Pharma–Quick-Step
2013 Fabian Cancellara (SUI) RadioShack–Leopard
2014 Fabian Cancellara (SUI) Trek Factory Racing
2015 Alexander Kristoff (NOR) Team Katusha
2016 Peter Sagan (SVK) Tinkoff
2017 Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Quick-Step Floors
2018 Niki Terpstra (NED) Quick-Step Floors
2019 Alberto Bettiol (EF Pro Cycling)
2020 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
2021 Kasper Asgreen (DEN)
2022 Mathieu van der Poel (NLD)
2023 Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates


2004: Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) Team Let’s Go Finland
2005: Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel (Ned) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team
2006: Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel (Ned) Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team
2007: Nicole Cooke (GBR) Raleigh–Lifeforce–Creation HB Pro Cycling Team
2008: Judith Arndt (Ger)Team High Road
2009: Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) Team Columbia Highroad Women
2010: Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto Ladies Team
2011: Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
2012: Judith Arndt (Ger) GreenEdge-AIS
2013: Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank Women Cycling Team
2014: Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Boels–Dolmans
2015: Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle–Honda
2016: Lizzie Armitstead (Gbr) Boels–Dolmans
2017: Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb
2018: Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels–Dolmans
2019: Marta Bastianelli (Team Virtu)
2020: Chantal van den Broeck-Blaak (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
2021: Annemiek van Vleuten (NED)
2022: Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx)
2023: Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx)


Let us wear our hearts on our Tee and pay homage to this great race.
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