It’s finally here! The 2023 Tour of Flanders and Tour of Flanders Women will take place this weekend on Sunday, April 2, with the top of the Classics peloton taking on the toughest cobbles and hills that Flanders has to offer.
We’ve been waiting all spring for the peloton to take on Belgian cycling’s holy ground, as well as the renowned cobbled climbs of the Paterberg, Koppenberg, and Oude Kwaremont. Now we’re getting closer to one of the most important events on the calendar. The men’s and women’s pelotons will reconvene in Brugge and Oudenaarde on Sunday morning to start off the festivities, with reigning champions Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) leading the way.
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Live Broadcast: 2023 Tour of Flanders Live
2023 Tour of Flanders course routes and preview
Van der Poel will face a brutal list of top riders as he faces off against Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), and Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) and more.
Meanwhile, Kopecky will compete against Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar), Grave Brown, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez), Elisa Longo Borghini, Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo), Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (AG Insurance-Soudal-QuickStep), and Demi Vollering (SD Worx), among others.
The Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen; Tour des Flandres) will commemorate its 107th men’s and 20th women’s editions on Sunday (2 April) as the first of two back-to-back cobbled monuments. (Paris–Roubaix follows next week).
Since 1919, men have competed in ‘De Ronde’ every year. For the first time since 2016, the race starts in Bruges/Brugge – the first year of a two-year agreement in which Bruges/Brugge and Antwerp will alternate start-line duties. The race will conclude in Oudenaarde, as it has done every year since 2012. (169.9mi).
Meanwhile, the women will compete on a 156.6km (97.3 mi) track that will take them around Oudenaarde while also incorporating sections of the men’s route.
The defending winners are the Netherlands’ Mathieu van der Poel and Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky. Van der Poel is aiming for his third victory in four events, having also won in 2020.
The Tour of Flanders men’s route and Tour of Flanders women’s route, as well as start list information, can be found below, and scroll down for all Tour of Flanders lives streaming requirements.
Hello and welcome return to Bruges/Brugge. This is the major headline for this year’s men’s Ronde van Vlaanderen course, which returns to the same UNESCO World Heritage Site start town as it did from 1998 to 2016.
The peloton will begin at the Grote Markt in Bruges/Brugge; the change in starting city from Antwerp implies that the route south to Oudenaard will also change.
While the intimidating Oude Kwaremont – Paterberg finale will remain, the course for the first 136km (84.5 miles) to the first ascent of the Oude Kwaremont appears to be a little less taxing on the legs compared to last year, with only a single cobbled sector (down from two) at Huisepontweg and a generally flatter parcours, albeit with an additional côte.
The traditional loop around Oudenaarde, on the other hand, will put the cyclists to the test yet again, with 18 climbs from the start of the Oude Kwaremont to the finish. The Paterberg is the final ascent of the day, with 13 kilometres to go before a fast, flat finish. The riders will ascend 3,227m over the course of the day’s 19 classified hills. (10,587ft).
The women will ride a course very similar to the men’s, a loop around Oudenaard starting at the Markt and finishing on Minderbroedersstraat.
Huisepontweg, like the men’s race, is the first cobbled section at 49.6km; unlike the men, the women’s peloton will have already climbed their first test, the Tiegemberg.
The women will face the same final 45km as the men, beginning with the infamously difficult cobbled climb up the Kopperberg (113.4km) and ending with the Oude Kwaremont – Paterberg one-two. The peloton will climb 2,682m (8,799ft) in elevation.
TOUR OF FLANDERS SCHEDULE
|April 2||Men’s||Brugge – Oudenaarde (273km)||10:00 – 16:29|
|April 2||Women’s||Oudenaarde – Oudenaarde (157km)||13:30 – 17:32|
Full Schedule 2023 Tour of Flanders
(All times local CEST, approximate after race start. Assumes an average race speed of 44km/h for men and 40km/h for women)
- 10:00 – Men’s race unofficial start in Bruges/Brugge (-8.3km)
- 10:16 – Men’s race official start in Beernem (0.0km)
- 12:45 – Men’s race reaches first cobbled sector at Huisepontweg (109.0km)
- 13:22 – Men’s race reaches the first ascent of Oude Kwaremont (climb 2, 136.8km)
- 13:30 – Women’s race unofficial start in Oudenaarde (-2.7km)
- 13:35 – Women’s race official start in Oudenaarde (0.0km)
- 13:50 – Women’s race reaches first climb at Tiegemberg (climb 1, 10.0km)
- 14:49 – Women’s race reaches first cobbled sector at Huisepontweg (49.5km)
- 15:14 – Men’s race reaches the second ascent of Oude Kwaremont (climb 12, 218.8km)
- 15:19 – Men’s race reaches the first ascent of Paterberg (climb 13, 222.3km)
- 15:28 – Men’s race reaches Koppenberg (climb 14, 228.8km)
- 16:06 – Men’s race reaches the third ascent of Oude Kwaremont (climb 18, 256.7km)
- 16:11 – Men’s race reaches the second ascent of Paterberg (climb 19, 260.1km)
- 16:23 – Women’s race reaches Koppenberg (climb 8, 112.0km)
- 16:29 – Men’s leaders arrive at the finish line in Oudenaarde (273.4km)
- 17:05 – Women’s race reaches Oude Kwaremont (climb 12, 139.9km)
- 17:10 – Women’s race reaches Paterberg (climb 13, 143.3km)
- 17:30 – Women’s leaders arrive at the finish line in Oudenaarde (156.6km)
2023 Tour of Flanders riders to watch
Men’s race – 2023 riders to watch
Mathieu van der Poel of the Netherlands is the reigning champion. The Alpecin-Deceuninck cyclist also won in 2020 before finishing second in 2021. He’ll go for his fourth podium result in a row after winning Milano-Sanremo two weeks ago.
Tadej Pogacar, the Slovenian all-round sensation, is aiming for his fourth career landmark victory (2 at Il Lombardia, 1 at Liège-Bastogne-Liège). This is only his second appearance in De Ronde, having placed fourth last year in agony.
Kasper Asgreen of Denmark was the surprise victor in 2021, beating out van der Poel. His Soudal-Quick Step squad can also rely on…
Julian Alaphilippe – the two-time world champion who appeared to be a contender for the 2020 race before colliding with a motorcycle while leading the victorious breakaway.
Wout van Aert, Jumbo-Visma’s Flanders leader, was compelled to withdraw from last year’s race after catching Covid. Van Aert, widely regarded as Van der Poel’s main rival, will be aiming to improve on his second-place finish in 2020. Enters after finishing second at Gent-Wevelgem.
Greg van Avermaet – despite being 37 years old, don’t count out the Belgian on his home roads. The Olympic road race champion from 2016 is a one-day classics specialist who has placed on the podium in Oudenaarde four times without ever winning the race.
Tom Pidcock, like Van der Poel and Van Aert, is accustomed to cycling on various terrains as a cyclocross, mountain bike, and road rider. Pidcock won his first major one-day race earlier this year at Strade Bianche, and he has expertise on cobblestones, having won the 2021 Brabantse Pijl and the 2019 Paris-Roubaix Espoirs junior races.
Women’s race – 2023 riders to watch
The Dutch women’s cycling legend Annemiek van Vleuten has declared that 2023 will be her final season. Van Vleuten, a two-time winner of the women’s Tour of Flanders (2011, 2021), is no stranger to success in all forms of road cycling, from lengthy stage races to one-day classics, and will be hoping for a third triumph in Oudenaarde.
Lotte Kopecky – the defending champion from 2022, Kopecky will have the backing of her home crowd behind her. She is a two-time national road race winner who has already won two one-day classic races this season and will be one of the favorites for a third.
Marianne Vos, the Olympic road race champion in London in 2012, hasn’t won a one-day race since Gent-Wevelgem in 2021, but count Vos out at your risk. On her day, the highly experienced Dutchwoman is still a force to be reckoned with.
Elisa Longo Borghini, the Trek-Segafredo team leader who has won bronze in the last two Olympic road races, is a former winner of the event (2015) and will be joined by fellow Italian and 2021 world champion Elisa Balsamo.