106th Ronde van Vlaanderen: April 3rd, 2022

In the past weeks we have seen some brilliant cycling in Flanders already, but the Missa Solemnis is yet to come on Sunday. With no more corona restrictions it will be a celebration, with cycling fans packed along the road. Over a distance of 272.5 km the men will ride from Antwerp to Oudenaarde, facing a swift succession of short, steep hills and cobblestones. The Eikenberg has been replaced by the Achterberg, the only new climb. The weather will be cold and probably dry, with a light northwest wind.





Climbs:
  1. Oude Kwaremont (136 km) [2200 m; 4%]
  2. Kortekeer (126 km) [1260 m; 6.4%]
  3. Achterberg (119,2) [1500 m; 4.4%]
  4. Wolvenberg (114 km) [650 m; 7.9%]
  5. Molenberg (102 km) [460 m; 7%]
  6. Marlboroughstraat (98 km) [2040 m; 3%]
  7. Berendries (94 km) [940 m; 7%]
  8. Valkenberg (88 km) [550 m; 8.2%]
  9. Berg Ten Houte (76 km) [1100 m; 6%]
  10. Kanarieberg (71 km) [1000 m; 7.7%]
  11. Oude Kwaremont (55 km) [2200 m; 4%]
  12. Paterberg (51 km) [360 m; 12.9%]
  13. Koppenberg (45 km) [600 m; 11.6%]
  14. Steenbeekdries (39 km) [700 m; 5.3%]
  15. Taaienberg (37 km) [530 m; 6.6%]
  16. Kruisberg-Hotond (26.5 km) [2500 m; 5%]
  17. Oude Kwaremont (16.7 km) [2200 m; 4%]
  18. Paterberg (13.3 km) [360 m; 12.9%]
Flat cobbled sectors:
  1. Lippenhovestraat (169 km)
  2. Paddestraat (167 km)
  3. Holleweg (117 km)
  4. Kerkgate (111 km)
  5. Jagerij (108 km)
  6. Mariaborrestraat (41 km)
  7. Stationsberg (39 km)
Recent winners:
2012 Tom Boonen
2013 Fabian Cancellara
2014 Fabian Cancellara
2015 Alexander Kristoff
2016 Peter Sagan
2017 Philippe Gilbert
2018 Niki Terpstra
2019 Alberto Bettiol
2020 Mathieu van der Poel
2021 Kasper Asgreen

Multiple winners:
3x Achiel Buysse, Fiorenzo Magni, Eric Leman, Johan Museeuw, Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara

The women's race will be held for the 19th time. They will start and finish in Oudenaarde over a distance of 158.6 km, hammering eleven climbs and six flat cobbled sectors.

Recent winners:
2012 Judith Arndt
2013 Marianne Vos
2014 Ellen van Dijk
2015 Elisa Longo Borghini
2016 Lizzie Armitstead
2017 Coryn Rivera
2018 Anna van der Breggen
2019 Marta Bastianelli
2020 Chantal van den Broek-Blaak
2021 Annemiek van Vleuten

Multiple winners:
2x Mirjam Melchers, Judith Arndt, Annemiek van Vleuten

With many of the big guns polished and loaded this is one race you simply can't miss!
 
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I've been waiting so long for this thread to open as I have so many questions for the CN experts.
I am going to my first ever Ronde this year and getting an early train from Brussels to Oudenaarde Sunday morning. First off I am wondering will the trains be packed going to and from Brussels ?
But my big question is will there be any sort of transport to get to the likes of Paterberg or Oude Kwaremont or is it a case of either walking or watching in Oudenaarde ?

I am so excited I can think of nothing else. I dream every night of a van selling chips w/curry sauce parked next to a van selling beer.
 
Some thoughts: I would rather go to kwaremont than Paterberg (more space). If you’re super lazy, you could as well stay in Oudenaarde on the central square, there should be many places where you can follow the action and the finish (and interviews and team buses etc) are all there.

In any way: you should be able to catch a bus to Kluisbergen from Oudenaarde (10K) and walk from there. Never done this on public transport though. I have to pick someone up from the airport and will only maybe watch at the Paddestraat (and after that just go home and watch on tv), but you should have a blast.
 
Van Aert, Van der Poel, Pogacar, Pidcock all look in very good shape. Asgreen is getting there.
My only hope for this race is that Jumbo doesn't destroy it with its numbers.
there's definitely a risk it happens, yeah. For me, the great thing about the Ronde used to be, that you could anticipate, get up the road early on, get an advantage before the big guys start their attack, and stand a realistic chance to still make it to the end in front, or at least with the favourites.

Van Aert's and van der Poel's superiority, combined with their preference to attack early on, already tends to erase all tactical element from the race. Now that Quickstep looks weak and Jumbo super strong, it could turn into a very "boring" race, with almost no action over the final hour or two.
 
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For the women's race, I suppose you'd be foolish to look past Van Vleuten. Because you'd always be foolish to look past Van Vleuten. Vos of course also can't be ignored.
Balsamo and Wiebes are obviously on fine form, but... is the race maybe a little too tough for them?
 
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Sagan, Alaphillipe, Nibali and Remco not riding. Pogacar will not win (it will turn out that he's a gt rider after all). Asgreen and Bettiol are not in form.
No opposition for MvdP. I'll probably watch anyway on the off chance that Jumbo make a race of it.
 
Some thoughts: I would rather go to kwaremont than Paterberg (more space). If you’re super lazy, you could as well stay in Oudenaarde on the central square, there should be many places where you can follow the action and the finish (and interviews and team buses etc) are all there.

In any way: you should be able to catch a bus to Kluisbergen from Oudenaarde (10K) and walk from there. Never done this on public transport though. I have to pick someone up from the airport and will only maybe watch at the Paddestraat (and after that just go home and watch on tv), but you should have a blast.
Thanks for that. It's the same bus to Kluisbergen for the two climbs so I suppose I can always decide on the day. My big worry is missing the last bus back to Oudenaarde and having a 2hr hike for my train back to Brussels
 
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there's definitely a risk it happens, yeah. For me, the great thing about the Ronde used to be, that you could anticipate, get up the road early on, get an advantage before the big guys start their attack, and stand a realistic chance to still make it to the end in front, or at least with the favourites.

Van Aert's and van der Poel's superiority, combined with their preference to attack early on, already tends to erase all tactical element from the race. Now that Quickstep looks weak and Jumbo super strong, it could turn into a very "boring" race, with almost no action over the final hour or two.
There was a great bit of discussion about this during the race yesterday saying before secondary favourites and guys looking for a top 10 finish could anticipate at like 70km to go and get ahead of the big positioning battle and surges in pace but now you have the likes of MVDP surging at 94km out yesterday and Wout and Tadej also going from way out s these other guys now need to go from 100km out to anticipate which is insane compared to racing even 5 years ago.
 
Oct 26, 2020
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I am going to my first ever Ronde this year and getting an early train from Brussels to Oudenaarde Sunday morning. First off I am wondering will the trains be packed going to and from Brussels ?
I've done the same journey in the past. Getting there early enough for the start of the women's race and leaving 90 minutes after the finish there were no problems with the train. The only packed train I've seen going to races in that part of the world was the Maastricht to Valkenburg train for the Amstel Gold.
 
It'll be crucial for MVP and Pogacar to isolate Jumbo as soon as possible. So I expect an early attack by MVP to try and do just that. Perhaps Berg ten Houte or the Kwaremont - Paterberg duo 50 k's out. If Benoot and/or Laporte aren't dropped then there's big chance for one of them to win.

Hoping for a final with just the big guns left and no (super)domestiques. WVA to win a sprint of 4 riders (MVP, WVA, Pogacar and Asgreen).
 
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