Tour of Flanders 2013 route (100th anniversary of the cobbled classic) route has been presented. The race will be 324 km long, as the first race in 1913.

The Tour of Flanders (Dutch: Ronde van Vlaanderen, French: Tour des Flandres) is a Flanders Classics road cycling race held in Belgium every spring, a week before the Paris-Roubaix (queen of the classics) road race.

It is part of the UCI World Tour and one of the five so-called monuments of the European professional calendar (the five monuments are: Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and Il Lombardia – formerly known as the “Giro di Lombardia”).

Tour of Flanders 2013 route has been announced
The cobbles of Tour of Flanders
Tour of Flanders 2013 route (the centenary edition) will be 324 km long, as the first race in 1913.

Tour of Flanders 2013 route will mirror the 2012 race

The organizers of the race have announced the route of the 2013 edition of Vlaanderens Mooiste (Flanders’ most beautiful) to be run on March 31st, which will be centenary edition.

The course will mirror the 2012 race exactly. The Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg will be climbed three times each, while the Muur van Geraardsbergen will once again not be a feature.

The race will be held on Easter Sunday, March 31, and start at the Bruges Market.

Tom Boonen
Belgian rider Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) 2012 edition.

Race director Wim Vanherreweghe told HLN.be:

“From there we pull in a straight line to Torhout, Ledegem, Wevelgem and on to Rekkem, which is this year’s ‘village of the Tour. The race then heads to Avelgem and the first of 17 climbs of the day, the Tiegemberg.

“Once the Ardennes have been reached, the peloton will face 50 kilometers with the Taaienberg, Eikenberg, and Molenberg climbs, not to mention some difficult cobblestone stretches. After climbing Berendies and Valkenberg, the riders will have an easier section to catch their breath and prepare for the 37km loop which will take them over the Kwaremont for the first time, followed immediately by the second loop of 20km, with Kwaremont, Paterberg, and Hotond.”

“During the last loop, the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg are still built-in, and then towards Oudenaarde and then the run-in to the finish.”

Tour of Flanders 2013 route will be the same as the first edition (2013) in length

Race Organizers will celebrate the race’s 100th anniversary with a hobby race on May 25. Legendary cyclists Eddy Merckx (who won the race twice, in 1969 and 1975) and Johan Museeuw (who won the race 3-time, in 1993, 1995 and 1998) will participate in the amateur race. Amateurs will have a chance to ride all 324km of the 1913 course.

Vanherreweghe said: “We can’t promise exactly the same course, but we will try to do the best possible. The trip will be 324 km long, as in 1913.”

The first “Ronde”

The Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen) was created by sports journalist Karel Van Wijnendaele and organized by the sports newspaper Sportwereld.

The first edition was held on 25 May 1913. Paul Deman won the event in a five-man sprint before Joseph Van Daele and Victor Doms.

The event started in Ghent and finished in Mariakerke, on the outskirts of Ghent, covering a distance of 324 kilometers (201.3 miles). It finished on the velodrome of Mariakerke, a wooden track built around a pond, with four final laps before the official finish. 37 riders started the race, and there were 16 classified finishers.

The race started in Ghent, East Flanders, before heading eastward to Sint-Niklaas and making a clockwise circle along Aalst, Oudenaarde, Kortrijk, and Veurne. Subsequently, the course followed the North Seashore until Ostend and headed east via Roeselare back to Ghent. With this route, the race addressed all the major cities of the two western provinces of Flanders, hence the name.

There were no categorized climbs in the first edition of the race.

Sources

1913 Tour of Flanders on Wikipedia

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