Dwars door Vlaanderen takes in twelve hills and three stretches of pavé, but the opener is relatively easy. The first ‘helling’ appears halfway through the race when the riders tackle the Kluisberg from both sides. From then onward the race intensifies with an uphill every 10 kilometres or so, plus, of course, they are jack-hammered by unevenly paved roads.
Over the Knokteberg and Kortekeer the route continues onto the cobbles of Mariaborrestraat. Hardly time for a breather as the Steekbeekdries and Stationsberg are next before Taaienberg and Berg Ten Houte follow in rapid succession.
A relatively calm section ushers in a second ascent of the Knokteberg, while the finale is pepped up by pavé and three ‘hellingen’. Following the cobbles of the Varentstraat (809 metres) the race continues onto the cobbled ascent of Vossenhol (800 metres at 6.5%).
With 20 kilometres remaining the riders face two more uphills. Firstly on the Holstraat (1,000 metres at 5.2%) before the last climb of the day takes the shape of the cobbled Nokereberg. This climb is 500 metres at 5.7% and crested with around 9 kilometres to go.
Only 800 metres of pavé on the Herlegemstraat left plus 5.9 kilometres on the flat before we know who’ll succeed Mathieu van der Poel as the winner of Dwars door Vlaanderen.
Dwars door Vlaanderen 2021: profiles, more
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