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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, April 5, 2020

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2020 Tour of Flanders to be run as virtual race

All of our info for the 2020 Tour of Flanders is posted here.

Here's the organizer's announcement:

The event that all of Flanders is more passionate about than any other will not take place on Sunday 5 April. This prompted Flanders Classics and Belgian national sports broadcaster Sporza to go in search of an innovative alternative that is equally thrilling for both fans and cyclists. Although it is currently forbidden to cycle in groups and has been for a little while now, they will be announcing the very first virtual edition of Flanders’ Finest for professional cyclists today: DeRonde2020, the lockdown edition. Because you can still cycle on your home trainer.

Tour of Flanders

The 2020 virtual course

Flanders Classics developed a unique concept in collaboration with technology partners Bkool and Kiswe. Not only that, the participating teams also contributed their part to this wonderful initiative. The teams were not only more than willing to join in, they are what’s more doing so entirely free of charge.

After a 1 hour race, the 2020 winner will be crowned. In a closed tour reserved exclusively for professional cyclists, 13 pros will be competing during the last 32 km of the Tour of Flanders - on their home trainers. Thanks to Kiswe we will be able to watch the riders tackle a virtual Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg in real time on the Bkool platform. The tour has already been uploaded onto Bkool’s digital platform.

Jumbo-Visma posted this Tour of Flanders update:

Wout van Aert and Mike Teunissen are two of the thirteen riders who will take part in the virtual Tour of Flanders. De Ronde 2020: Lockdown Edition will take place this Sunday with our two riders and eleven riders of seven other teams. The cyclists will use their Tacx or other bike trainer at home.

Wout Van aert

Wout van Aert's 2020 Tour of Flanders certainly won't have crowds like this scene from the 2019 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

The race is 32 kilometres long and the route crosses the Kruisberg, Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg. “I’ve been working on it since a week. It’s nice to have a goal in this period”, van Aert said. He’s already made the necessary preparations. “I’ve already turned off the heater in the room where I will race. It will be nice and cool.” According to the Belgian rider, sports director Grischa Niermann knows more about virtual cycling. “Mike and I will schedule a digital meeting with him.”

Teunissen will also start: “I like it to race online. This way, we can show our team and the sponsors to the cycling lovers. Besides that, it’s nice to offer the fans something else, especially now there aren’t races in real life.” The Dutchman also prepared himself a bit. “The last few days, I jumped on my Tacx a bit more. The upcoming days, I will start in some other digital races to get used to it. And I heard I have a digital meeting with Wout and Grischa. I guess our sports director will give us a few tips.”

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