With De Brabantse Pijl (7/10), Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (11/10), the Scheldeprijs (14/10) and finally, the Tour of Flanders (18/10), there are still four Flanders Classics races on the revised cycling calendar. The organisation has decided to change the race circuit a bit from what was planned in the spring and to shorten the races in view of the busy autumn calendar that awaits the teams.
The Flanders Classics team, just like cycling fans, is looking forward to October with great enthusiasm. With no fewer than four races to look forward to, the preparations have now started again. In recent weeks, for example, the organisation has been working on the circuits of the various races.
The quick succession of races on the newly proposed calendar will require quite a bit of organisation on the part of the teams. To provide the teams and riders with enough opportunity to rest between the races that will follow each other in rapid succession in October, Flanders Classics has decided, in consultation with various teams, to slightly shorten the distance of its races.
This amounts to a limited reduction in the total distance of De Brabantse Pijl, Gent-Wevelgem, the Scheldeprijs and the Tour of Flanders, while nevertheless keeping the classic highlights in the finals.
Just like the start in Leuven, the finish in Overijse, with climbs of Hagaard, Hertstraat, Holstheide and Schavei, will be retained. As announced earlier, the Moskesstraat will take the place of the Ijskelderlaan, both for the Elite Men and the Elite Women. There is a change in and around Beersel for the Elite Men, however. They will ride one round locally in this edition, including the ascent of the Bruine Put, Menisberg and Lotsestraat. A total of 26 hills await them.
Nothing changes to the previously proposed course for the women. They can get ready for a challenging edition with no less than 20 climbs, starting in Lennik and finishing in Overijse.
As planned, both the Elite Men and the Elite Women will also start in Ypres on 11 October for the first time in the history of this classic. However, for the men’s circuit, the section over French territory will be left out entirely. As a result, some hills, such as Catsberg, Zwarte Berg and Vert Mont, will no longer be part of the circuit. So that the race will have the number of climbs it needs, an extra, and thus third, passage on the Kemmelberg will be included in the circuit. The Plugstreets and the Moeren will also remain part of the race course.
The circuit for the Elite Women remains largely unchanged. The Scherpenberg and Vidaigneberg will be the first two climbs on the route, with the Kemmelberg as the final climb, after which there will still be 35 km to the finish on the Vanackerestraat in Wevelgem.
The Scheldeprijs will cross the border to the Netherlands as planned and will start in Terneuzen. What will change is the passage through Zeeland, which will be slightly modified for this edition. The pack will then head in the direction of Schoten for the classic finish with three local loops. At the end of the third local loop, the finish awaits on Churchilllaan.
Vlaanderens Mooiste closes the autumn series with an unchanged finish. The duo Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg will also play a key role in October for both the Elite Men, starting in Antwerp, and the Elite Women, starting in Oudenaarde. The cutting of race kilometres comes after the first climb of the Oude Kwaremont. Due to the change, Tenbosse and the Muur van Geraardsbergen will not be on the menu in October, and the Valkenberg will be added to the circuit.
From the second ascent of the Oude Kwaremont, the men will head into the familiar last 50 km with the climb of the Koppenberg, followed by the cobblestones of the Mariaborrestraat, Steenbeekdries and Taaienberg. After the passage on the Kruisberg/Hotond in Ronse follows the decisive climb of the duo Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg. From the Taaienberg, which was added to their circuit in 2019, the women will also compete along the same final section as the men. After the last climb of the Paterberg, another 13 km await them to the finish in Oudenaarde.
Flanders Classics is currently working on the preparations for its postponed races, subject to measures related to COVID-19. We are already looking forward to 7 October and the start of De Brabantse Pijl in Leuven and Lennik.
Photo (c) Photonews