Centenary Ronde van Vlaanderen course confirmed by Flanders Classics
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Centenary Ronde van Vlaanderen course confirmed by Flanders Classics

by Ben Atkins at 4:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders
Kwaremont/Paterberg circuit remain for Oudenaarde finale; early loop pays tribute to race history

tom boonenFlanders Classics, the organiser of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, has 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 closing stages of the race will mirror that of the 2012 edition, which was based on three shrinking circuits of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg climbs, before finishing in the Flemish Ardennes town of Oudenaarde.

The opening loop of the race, which will start in Brugge as usual, takes on a new look, however, as it pays tribute to the race’s history; as well as that of other major Flemish races.

From Brugge, the course will head west to the town of Torhout, the birthplace of race founder Karel Van Wijnendaele, before heading south towards the hill zone via Roeselare, the seat of the Belgian museum of cycling. The race will continue through Ledegem, the home of three-time Ronde winner Eric Leman, Wevelgem, which hosts the finish of Gent-Wevelgem each year, and Rekkem - the Ronde Village - where Paul Deman, the race’s first ever winner lived for many years.

Before it arrives in the Vlaamse Ardennen the race will pass through Outrijve, where Deman also lived, and is buried, where there will be events to commemorate Flanders’ first champion.

The first climb will be the Tiegemberg, as the race crosses from West to East Flanders, while the remainder of the course will mirror the 2012 race exactly. Having passed through Oudenaarde for the first time - although it will not go near the finishing straight - the race will complete a 70km loop around the Taaienberg, Eikenberg, Molenberg, Rekelberg, Berendries and Valkenberg, before returning to the Oudenaarde area again for the three reducing circuits.

The first of these will take in the Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg, Koppenberg, Steenbeekdries and Kruisberg/Hotond; the second, smaller circuit will climb the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg again, and the Hoogberg/Hotond; the final circuit will just climb the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg before descending to the river Schelde for the final 11.7km dash to the finish.

Last year’s edition, which was the first to be run on this course, saw Tom Boonen, Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan escape on the second circuit, with Boonen beating the two Italians in the sprint to take his third Ronde victory.

One more climb for the women on near-identical course

Starting in the finish town of Oudenaarde, as it has done since its inception in 2004, the Ronde van Vlaanderen voor Vrouen takes in a near identical course to last year. The main change to the course is the inclusion of the Molenberg, as the first climb after 40.7km, taking the number of climbs the women are faced with up to ten.

After the Molenberg, the women’s peloton will climb the Rekelberg, Berendries, Valkenberg, Kaperij, Kanarieberg and Kruisberg/Hotond, before completing the course of the second circuit from the men’s race. With the climb of the Hoogberg/Hotond coming after the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, there will again be a total of 16km from the top of the final obstacle to the finish.

The 2012 race saw Judith Arndt and Kristin Armstrong escape on the Oude Kwaremont - repeating the winning break of the 2008 race - with Arndt winning the two up sprint once again.

Ronde van Vlaanderen Elite Men ‘Hellingen’ 2012
1. Tiegemberg 91.2km
2. Taaienberg 113.7km
3. Eikenberg 120.1km
4. Molenberg 135.3km
5. Rekelberg 149.6km
6. Berendries 155.0km
7. Valkenberg 160.4km
8. Oude Kwaremont 183.1km
9. Paterberg 186.5km
10. Koppenberg 193.1km
11. Steenbeekdries 198.5km
12. Kruisberg/Hotond 210.3km
13. Oude Kwaremont 220.1km
14. Paterberg 223.6km
15. Hoogberg/Hotond 230.6km
16. Oude Kwaremont 240.4km
17. Paterberg 243.8km

Ronde van Vlaanderen Elite Men ‘Kasseien’ 2012
1. Holloweg 121.5km
2. Rutterstraat 123.0km
3. Kerkgate 126.3km
4. Jagerij 129.5km
5. Paddestraat 140.0km
6. Mariaborrestraat 197.1km
7. Donderij 200.3km

Ronde van Vlaanderen Elite Women ‘Hellingen’ 2012
1. Molenberg 40.7km
2. Rekelberg 54.9km
3. Berendries 60.3km
4. Valkenberg 65.6km
5. Kaperij 77.9km
6. Kanarieberg 85.3km
7. Kruisberg/Hotond 93.7km
8. Oude Kwaremont 103.5km
9. Paterberg 106.9km
10. Hoogberg/Hotond 113.9km

Ronde van Vlaanderen Elite Women ‘Kasseien’ 2012
1. Paddestraat 45.4km
2. Haaghoek 69km


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