This year the Tour of Flanders organizers have got everyone’s bike shorts in a twist over some significant changes made to the route. Gone are the traditional final two climbs of the race – the Muur van Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg – and the finish town has been moved from Meerbeke to Oudenaarde. The final will now have 3 climbs over both the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg (which I climbed with Pavé Cycling last year – in this post), that will make it pretty exciting for fans, I’m sure, but a little bit more hellish for the riders. In short, nobody knows how this one will be raced, so it should be a great one to watch.
Heavy favorites right now are Boonen and Cancellara, with Gilbert sucking wheels till he form comes into gear.
For some great background on the Tour of Flanders (and the rest of the Classics), try this book.