The Tour of Flanders sets off from Antwerp and the riders get a first taste of cobbles after 85 kilometres. The pavé on the Lippenhovenstraat and Paddestraat appear on the trot, but, to be frank, the first half of the race is nothing special. The eager anticipation of what’s in store gives the race its edge as this stage.
The race intensifies when the Kortekeer climb appears after almost 130 kilometres. In quick succession the route travereses the Eikenberg, Holleweg (cobbles), Wolvenberg, Haaghoek (cobbles), Leberg, Berendries and Valkenberg. All these hurdles are crammed together within 29 kilometres.
A new phase of relative calmness takes the riders over the Kanarieberg into the finale, which begins with 55 kilometres remaining when the riders tackle the Oude Kwaremont/Paterberg combo for the first time. This is an important preview, as this cobbled duo will be back in last 20 kilometres.
With the first Oude Kwaremont-Paterberg combo the Tour of Flanders enters an exciting phase. After cresting the Koppenberg (600 metres at 11.6%), Steenbeekdries (700 metres at 5.3%) and Taaienberg (530 metres at 6.6%, cobbled) the race continues onto the Kruisberg (2,500 metres at 5%). The riders reach that summit with 27 kilometres left.
Following a section on the pavé of the Mariaborrestraat (2,000 metres) it is back to climbing again on the Oude Kwaremont makes its last appearance. The cobbled uphill is 2,200 metres long and averages 4%, while the Paterberg is quite the opposite. Only 360 metres long, but definitely a killer with its average gradient of 12.9% and steepest ramp of 20.3%.
The last 13.2 kilometres of the ‘Ronde’ are played out on the flat.
Other interesting reads: results and start list 2020 Tour of Flanders.
Tour of Flanders 2020: routes, profiles, more
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