Following the start in Antwerp it doesn’t take long for the first cobbles to appear. The pavé of the Lange Munte is tackled after almost 10 kilometres before the Lippehovenstraat and Paddestraat line up in quick succession at kilometre 34. Uphill hardship begins some 20 kilometres further down the road on the Achterberg (1,500 metres at 5%). Over the Leberg (950 metres at 4.2%), the cobbles of the Haaghoek, Berendries (940 metres at 7%) and Ten Bosse (450 metres at 6.9%) the women continue to the Wall of Geraardsbergen (475 metres at 9.3%).
Following a flat interlude of 30 kilometres the next cluster of climbs looms. Firstly, the Taaienberg, which is a new addition along with the Steenbeekdries cobbled section. With 40 kilometres to race these climbs mark a tough last quarter of the race. And on it goes to the Kanarieberg (1,000 metres at 7.7%) and Kruisberg/Hotond (2,500 metres at 5%). This climb was Anna van der Breggen’s launch pad in last year’s race. She broke free and soloed to victory.
The illustrious combo Oude Kwaremont/Paterberg are the last ‘hellingen’ of the day. Oude Kwaremont is 2.2 kilometres at 4% and is shortly followed by the Paterberg. Only 360 metres long, the Paterberg is extremely steep. The average gradient is 12.9% and the toughest ramps go up at an unforgiving 20%.
The Tour of Flanders for women conclude with 13.3 kilometres on the flat to the finish line in Oudenaarde.
Tour of Flanders for women 2019: route, profiles, more
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Muur van Geraardsbergen interactive
streetview Muur van Geraardsbergen
Muur van Geraardsbergen at strava