On Sunday, it will already be the fourth time that the Tour of Flanders (1.WT, 18/10) starts in the centre of Antwerp. The Covid measures will have an influence on the organization of the race. With the campaign ‘Flandrien at home’, the fans are asked to follow the race at home. The access to all crucial points on the course are closed for the public. The distance of the last monument of the 2020 season is shortened to 243.5 kilometer. From Antwerp, the course follows the direction of the river Schelde until Berlare, from where the peloton goes in a straight line to the duo Lippenhovestraat-Paddestraat, the first cobble sections after 84.7 kilometer. The entry to Oudenaarde via the Kattenberg is the start of the hills zone. The famous Muur van Geraardsbergen is not in the parcours of this post-Covid edition, but the traditional final with the Old Kwaremont and the Paddestraat was remained. After seventeen steep climbs, half of them are cobbled, the winner will be known around 15h45.
There haven’t been many Belgian classics in 2020, but Andrea Pasqualoncollected a nice series of places of honor (14th Brabantse Pijl, 16th Le Samyn, 19th Ghent-Wevelgem, 22nd Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne). The Italian rider will lead the selection of Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans this Sunday. He will be surrounded by the Belgian riders Ludwig De Winter, Xandro Meurisse and Pieter Vanspeybrouck, and the Dutch riders Maurits Lammertink and Boy and Danny Van Poppel. Hilaire Van der Schueren, who will have the sportive direction of the team with Steven De Neef and Sébastien Demarbaix, previews the race.
Hilaire Van der Schueren (sportive direction):
« We’re going with Andrea Pasqualon as a leader to Flanders’ finest. He has shown last week at the Flèche Brabançonne and Ghent-Wevelgem that he has the capacities and the form to achieve a good result. Ludwig De Winter and Pieter Vanspeybrouck are the perfect riders to protect him as good as possible. I expect Maurits and Xandro Meurisse to accompany him in the final. We’re imagining a good strategy, in which anticipation will have an important role. »
« The Tour of Flanders is my favorite race. Each year, I dream about being at the start and in a good shape. I achieved good results at the previous classics, but I just missed the first group. I hope to be able to follow them on Sunday. I feel good and I’m ready for it! »
Ludwig De Winter
Boy Van Poppel
Danny Van Poppel
Hilaire Van der Schueren
Steven De Neef