The cobbles and ‘hellingen’ of the E3 kick off the Belgian Classics season with a bumpy ride. After almost 30 kilometres Katteberg is the first uphill sector. Perfect to get a first taste of what’s to come, but that’s it. The following 50 kilometres feature no climbs and then the riders tackle La Houppe. Next up is the Hogerlucht with its crest almost 100 kilometres before the line. Still, we are only getting warmed up before the Flemish party really starts to get going.
The second half of the race is crammed with hills. First the Knokteberg and on the trot the riders continue with the Hotondberg, Kortekeer, Taaienberg, Berg ter Stene and Boigneberg. Last year, Yves Lampaert and Niki Terpstra launched a duo-attack on the Taaienberg with still 72 kilometres to go. Terpstra left his then team-mate alone on the cobbles of the Varent to solo to victory.
The first cobbled climb appears 57.4 kilometres before the line. The Stationsberg is merely 700 metres at 3.2% and shortly after the top the route continues on the flat cobbles of the Mariaborrestraat. With almost 50 kilometres remaining the riders enter a tricky section with Kapelberg (750 metres at 7.1%) and the cobbled duo Paterberg (400 metres at 12.9%) and Oude Kwaremont (2.2 kilometres at 4%) in quick succession.
Still three hurdles left and the riders tackle them within a 12 kilometres frame. Firstly, the Karnemelkbeekstraat (1.5 kilometres at 4.9%) appears with 33.5 kilometres remaining. The climb makes way for 2 kilometres of cobbles at the Varent before the last ‘helling’, Tiegemberg, slopes 1 kilometre at 5.6%, while the steepest sector is 9%. A short descent leads to 19 flat kilometres to the line.
E3 BinckBank Classic 2019: route, profiles, more
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