last lap before Ronda, cycling news

Published on 29.03.2022 12:00

A softer version of the Tour of Flanders, Through Flanders offers more than just pre-Grand Ronde workouts. At 77 years old, this race has become a famous semi-classic.


Through Flanders (Doors Dwars Vlaanderen, for the purists) is a semi-classic where we repeat our classic after the Monument. If there are no effigies of the Round in his program, then the theme is similar: cobblestones and sheds. Across Flanders, from Roeselare to Waregem, runners will pass through familiar places without attacking their most infernal lairs.

Thus, if this race includes climbs to Canaryberg (0.9 km, 8.8%, dirt), Berg Ten Hout (1.1 km, 5.6%, asphalt) or the crossing of Old Quermont through the “New Cuarémont” (1.9 km with 4.7% dirt), they are well ahead of the final and do not have such decisive characteristics as their famous counterparts. After crossing Knotkeberg (1 km, 8%, unpaved) and Hotond (1.2 km, 4.1%, unpaved), the last fifty kilometers will be relatively low in terms of altitude. Indeed, the route will only fluctuate between 20 and 80 meters above sea level. Paved sections will even be rare and short. Thus, for the strongest, it will be necessary to launch furious attacks on the Ladeuse (1.2 km to 5.2 km, clay), Nockereberg (0.4 km, 3.6%, clay) or, finally, Holstraat (0 .6 km, 2.6%). , unpaved), otherwise the decision will be made after the mass sprint).

Profile of this 76th edition of A Travers les Flandres | © Through Flanders

However, this result has only happened twice in the last ten releases. Nick Niens (2011) and Jens Debucher (2016) took advantage of this. Even six times the winner won alone, even if sometimes he had a minimal gap (2 seconds in 2015 and 2018). Last year on a course with a similar profile, Dylan Van Baarle (INEOS Grenadiers) pulled off an epic 50-terminal feat and finally won at Roeselare, 26 seconds before the peloton was still well-decorated (49 units). Proof that if the chances of the sprinters are important, then the course of the race is not prescribed in advance.

Poster for the 74th edition of A Travers les FlandresPoster for the 76th issue of A Travers les Flandres | © Through Flanders

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it’s 76as well as the release of A Travers les Flandres will be particularly noteworthy due to the meeting between Tadej Pogacar (UAE, Emirates) and Ardennes classics just four days before participation in Ronda! If it is not possible to know in advance his chances for such a profile, his current form cannot hide him from the favorites section!

He will find men much more accustomed to the season, such as Matthieu Van der Puel (Alpecin-Fenix), another big racing star. The 2020 Tour of Flanders winner will take part in his first Belgian Classic of the season after a winter marked by persistent back pain that severely limited his training.

Mathieu Van der Puel, winner of the 2019 contest, will be one of the top favorites this Wednesday.Mathieu Van der Puel, winner of the 2019 contest, will be one of the top favorites this Wednesday | © Through Flanders

However, the big favorites seem to be on the side of the pure sprinters. In fact, it is safe to say that Fabio Jacobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) will fight in Waregem. I must say that these two men are currently gaining strength. If the former already has six wins on the clock in 2022, the latter will not be outdone with two beautiful bouquets at the Tour of the UAE, heaven for “big hips”.

in the same register Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Materials), Mads Pedersen (Track – Segafredo), Matteo Trentino (UAE Emirates), Elia Viviani (INEOS – Grenadiers) or even Dylan Groenewegen (Team BikExchange – Jayco) will play the role of ideal outsiders.

Finally, if, on the contrary, the race ends far from the finish line, the reigning champion, Dylan Van Barle (INEOS Grenadiers), insolvent Anthony Tergis (TotalEnergies) or Swiss Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) is likely to be present.

So this group of runners responds to all possibilities to guarantee all show options! The race should only be more beautiful.


From 14:45 on Eurosport and L’Equipe channel in France / RTBF in Belgium.

Jean Guillaume Langronier

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