No climbs in the first 55 kilometres, yet the women cross three stretches of pavé – Lange Munte (2,500 metres), Lippehovenstraat (1,300 metres) and Paddestraat (1,500 metres). Uphill hardships begin after almost 60 kilometres with Edelare (1,500 metres at 4.2%) and then it goes from one sharp climb to the next in merely 30 kilometres. Wolvenberg (645 metres at 7.9%), Leberg (950 meter à 4,2%), Berendries (940 meter à 7%) and Muur van Geraardsbergen (475 meter at 9.3%) – they are all lined up.
Following a flat interlude of 18 kilometres the next cluster of climbs looms. First the Pottelberg (1,353 meter at 6.5%) and within 13 kilometres the riders are to crest Kanarieberg (1,000 metres at 7.7%) and Kruisberg/Hotond (2,500 metres at 5%). And on it goes to the finale…
The illustrious combo Oude Kwaremont/Paterberg are the last ‘hellingen’. Oude Kwaremont is 2.2 kilometres at 4% with a steepest stretch at over 11%, shortly followed by Paterberg. This one is only 360 metres, but extremely steep. The average gradient is 12.9% and the steepest ramp peaks at an unforgiving 20.3%.
The Tour of Flanders for women conclude with 13.2 kilometres run-in to the finish in Oudenaarde.
Last year, Anna van der Breggen made a move on Kruisberg/Hotond and Elisa Longo Borghini, Annemiek van Vleuten and Kasia Niewiadoma joined her. They held the chasers at half a minute for a long time, but eventually they were brought back. The race came down to a group sprint with Coryn Rivera outgunning Gracie Elvin and Chantal Blaak.
Tour of Flanders for women 2018: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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