Tour of Flanders

The Tour of Flanders ( " De ronde van Vlaanderen ", " vlaanderens mooiste " ) is the most popular one-day race in Belgium. It is counted among the classics and five so-called monuments of cycling.

The " Ronde " takes place annually at the beginning of April, exactly one week before Paris -Roubaix. The race was part of the abolished after the 2004 season cycling World Cup and was between 2005 and 2010 for UCI ProTour, a newly introduced series of the most important bike race of the year, and since 2011 for the succeeding series UCI World Tour.

  • 4.1 Amateure/U23
  • 4.2 Junior


The now leading from the Grote Markt in Bruges by the cycling crazy Flemish part of Belgium -day race was first run in 1913. As the Tour de France by journalist Henri Desgrange the magazine was initiated L' car, it was in this case the journalist Karel Van Wijnendaele the Flemish sports magazine Sportwereld, who had the idea for the Tour of Flanders. Current event of the victory of the first Belgian Tour, Odiel Defraeye, in 1912 had been.

First winner of the Tour of Flanders was the Belgian Paul Deman. In the beginning, with little success, and interrupted by the First World War, it became popular in the 1920s and 1930s. While up in the 1950s was about half the distance of non- paved pathways due to the inadequate road expansion in Flanders, there is today more a problem at all to find cobblestone paths. Today the " Ronde " is the most important race in Flanders and along with Liege -Bastogne- Liège and Flèche Wallonne the most important in Belgium.

Nickname of the race is Vlaanderens mooiste ( the best part of Flanders). The countless Flemish fans make the Ronde every year the largest folk festival in Belgium. In Oudenaarde is a museum on the history of the tour.


In the years 1973-2011, the route of the Tour of Flanders from year to year changed only insignificantly. After the first round 150 km were completed on a flat road, led the second part of the 250 km race through the hilly area of ​​the so-called " Flemish Ardennes ", often on narrow trails and short, steep climbs. Thus, this race is considered to be much more difficult than Paris -Roubaix. From 1973 to 2011, the target was on the Halsesteenweg in Meerbeke. Since the contract expired with Meerbeke as destination city in 2011, was selected from 2012 Oudenaarde as the new destination. As a result of the new destination of the traditional increase Wall of Geraardsbergen is no longer part of the route.

" Slipways "

Decisive for the outcome of the race are the there approached numerous slipways, short and steep climbs of usually not more than 2 km long and 60-100 m height difference, but to more than 20 percent slope, which are also not paved for the most part. The most famous and most feared are the Oude Kwaremont, the Koppenberg and - earlier - the Wall of Geraardsbergen with gradients of up to 20%. By 2011, 17 slipways were crossed at the Ronde regularly, with the wall of Geerardsbergen and Bosberg were traditionally the last obstacles to the finish. From 2012, the Tour of Flanders, of a total three times to be crossed slipways Oude Kwaremont and Patersberg will be completed before the finish in Oudenaarde.

Many " slipways " be approached before the Tour of Flanders in numerous other Flemish spring classics, such as the Scheldt price, the E3 price, the Three Days of De Panne or Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

" Kasseien "

The " Kasseien " ( Flemish for cobblestone ) fall in the Ronde regularly with the slipways together, which makes the climbs more difficult. Exceptions which only the Paddestraat and Mater, each over two kilometers long flat sections on cobblestones.

The Koppenberg was taken from 1988 to 2003 from the program because the cyclist Jesper Skibby slipped on the slippery cobblestones and would have been run over by a hair's breadth from the jury car. Meanwhile, the pavement of the increase has been thoroughly overhauled and the mountain was in the 2006 season, again part of the route.

Beginning of November 2006 gave the organizers of the Flemish " Monuments" at a press conference to announce that the Koppenberg will not run in the next issue on April 8, 2007. They wanted to prevent a " fiasco " as the last time. In the 90th Tour of Flanders in the spring of 2006, several drivers had lost all chances to win on the Koppenberg. Only ten drivers were able to complete the toxic steep cobbled climb on the bike, the other had to walk, when, as so often falls on the " graveyard of ambition " blocked the road.


Each three victories in the Tour of Flanders, the Italian Fiorenzo Magni, the Swiss Fabian Cancellara and Belgian Achiel Buysse, Johan Museeuw, Eric Leman and Tom Boonen have to have. The only winners are German Rudi Altig 1964 and Steffen Wesemann 2004.

Since 2004 there is also a woman competition. The women go from Oudenaarde from the same distance as the men, but start a few hours before this. First winner was Russian Sulfija Chassanowna Sabirova.

The day before the professional race there is an everyman version in the next sections about 75 or 150 km, the complete original route can be completed over approximately 260 km.

Winner list ( junior )



  • 2001 Netherlands Johnny Hoogerland
  • 2002 The Netherlands Tom Stamsnijder
  • 2003 Belgium Erwin Roemans
  • 2004 Belgium Michiel Van Aelbroeck
  • 2005 Belgium January Ghyselinck
  • 2006 Belgium Sven Vandousselaere
  • 2007, Belgium Jens DeBusschere
  • 2008 Belgium Thomas Debrabandere
  • 2009 Belgium Joeri Stallaert
  • 2010 Belgium Jef Van Meirhaeghe
  • 2011 Belgium Martijn Degreve
  • 2012 Netherlands Ricardo van Dongen
  • 2013 Belgium Jenthe Biermans

List of winners women

  • 2004 Kazakhstan Sulfija Chassanowna Sabirova
  • 2005 The Netherlands Mirjam Melchers -van Poppel
  • 2006 The Netherlands Mirjam Melchers -van Poppel
  • 2008 Germany Judith Arndt
  • 2009 Ina- Yoko Teutenberg Germany
  • 2010 Belgium Grace Verbeke
  • Annemiek van Vleuten 2011 Netherlands
  • 2012 Germany Judith Arndt
  • 2013 Netherlands Marianne Vos
  • 2014 Netherlands Ellen van Dijk