Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara begins his quest to make history this weekend as he seeks a second-successive Tour of Flanders (April 3) victory.

Cancellara, who dominated last weekend’s E3 Prijs Vlaanderen in nearby Harelbeke, is aiming to become the first rider to do the Flanders and Paris-Roubaix double twice.

Recent Ghent-Wevelgem victor Tom Boonen (Quick Step) will not only want to avenge his defeat to the Leopard-Trek rider here twelve months ago, but also give himself a chance of winning the historic double.


Boonen won both races in 2005, and would have made history a year later if it wasn’t for Cancellara’s dominance on the cobbles of northern Europe.



Tour of Flanders 2011: The route



For the second year running, the Ronde will feature a modified route, but organisers insist that the main ingredients of the race – along with its character – remain unchanged.


Having departed from its traditional start in Brugge, riders will head inland to Kortrijk instead of riding towards the coast.

The race is flat for the opening 70km, before the first of the 18 climbs are tackled.

The Kaperij (climb four) is new, while the Kruisberg – the second-most featured climb in the 95 editions of the race – has been reinstated for 2011. A new cobbled section is passed just before the Molenberg, and the Berendries is being repaired, so is skipped in favour of the Valkenberg.

No changes have been made to the finish, with the Tenbosse, Muur and the Bosberg all likely to be the scene of some explosive racing.

The Climbs

Start: Brugge 0km


1. Tiegemberg 70km 


2. Nokereberg 80km


3. Rekelberg 127km


4. Kaperij 139km


5. Kruisberg 154km


6. Knokteberg 164km


7. Oude Kwaremont 171km


8. Paterberg 175km


9. Koppenberg 181km


10. Steenbeekdries 187km


11. Taaienberg 190km


12. Eikenberg 194km


13. Molenberg 209km


14. Leberg 216km


15. Valkenberg 225km


16. Tenbosse 232km


17. Muur-Kapelmuur 242km

18. Bosberg 246km


Finish: Meerbeke 256km

Tour of Flanders 2011: The teams

Ag2r La Mondiale

Astana

BMC

Cofidis

Europcar

Euskaltel-Euskadi

FDJ

Garmin-Cervelo

HTC-Highroad

Katusha

Lampre-ISD

Landbouwkrediet

Leopard-Trek

Liquigas-Cannondale

Movistar

Omega Pharma-Lotto

Quick Step

Rabobank

Radioshack

Saxo Bank-Sungard

Skil-Shimano

Sky

Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator

Vacansoleil-DCM

Veranda’s Willems-Accent

Tour of Flanders 2011: British riders

Roger Hammond
(Garmin-Cervelo)


David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo)


Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad)


Jeremy Hunt (Sky)


Ian Stannard (Sky)


Geraint Thomas (Sky)

Tour of Flanders 2011: TV schedule


British Eurosport


April 3, 11:15 – 16:15 Tour of Flanders LIVE


April 3, 23:15 – 00:15 Tour of Flanders highlights


April 4, 07:45 – 09:00 Tour of Flanders highlights

Eurosport HD


April 3, 11:30 – 16:00 Tour of Flanders LIVE


April 4, 07:45 – 09:00 Tour of Flanders highlights

Tour of Flanders 2010: Results


1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Saxo Bank in 6-25-56


2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step at 1-15


3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 2-11


4. Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil at 2-15


5. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions at 2-35


6. George Hincapie (USA) BMC


7. Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo Test Team


8. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana


9. Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre- Farnese Vini


10. William Bonnet (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom all at st.

CW said: “Rarely does an event live up to the pre-race hype so completely… Cancellara became only the tenth rider in the history of cycling to win Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.”



Tour of Flanders 2011: Recent winners


2010 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Saxo Bank


2009 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step


2008 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step


2007 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre


2006 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step


2005 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step


2004 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) T-Mobile


2003 Peter van Petegem (Bel) Lotto


2002 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei


2001 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Vini Caldirola

* Cycle Sport magazine this month takes a look at Jacky Durand’s famous victory in the 1992 Tour of Flanders, along with previewing all the spring classics, and is on sale in the UK for the irrationally reasonable price of £4.25.

Related links



Team cars open door to TV for Flanders



Video: Riding the Muur van Geraardsbergen



Can anyone beat Cancellara? Public opinion says no



Tour of Flanders 2011: Who will win?



Cancellara and Boonen are bookies’ favourites for Flanders



Spring Classics 2011: coverage index



Thomas returns to the Northern Classics

  • Andy Jones

    Adrian, there are a good number of the climbs which are good to see, Oude Kwaremont 171km, Paterberg 175km, Koppenberg 181km, Molenberg 209km and the Muur-Kapelmuur 242km.
    From experience you can see the start, Kwaremont and then the Muur-Kapelmuur out of Geraardsbergen without too much stress.
    If you had to pick one climb to see it would be the Muur-Kapelmuur as that’s where the race explodes. If a rider is over there first with a reasonable gap they are in with a good shout of taking a Flanders win. The run in from the top of the Kapelmuur to the finish is pretty fast and the final shallow cobbled climb of the Bosberg is in comparison to what has come before a fairly straight forward obstacle – though I suppose with 246kms in the legs it still has the effect of sapping strength from legs and mind.
    So, yes the Muur gets it. Parking is not always easy. There’s always a big crowd up on the hill. Probably your best point for a ‘ring side’ vantage point is up on the Kapelmuur, the second part of the climb just below the chapel. Once the riders have passed you can find a TV screen, usually in a nearby camper van window, to see the race finish in Ninove. Good Luck and enjoy your Ronde van Vlaanderen experience.

  • Adrian Brown

    I’ll be heading to Belgium this weekend. The route lends itself to being able to see the race at three different locations, if you have a car because the route overlaps. Which climb is the best to see the race?