Dwars door Vlaanderen is more than just a Tour of Flanders prelude

Some of the world's best cyclists will compete in the Dwars door Vlaanderen bike race on Wednesday, often seen as a prelude to the Tour of Flanders. But the one-day race, now in its 78th edition, has become a classic in its own right.

The first edition of the Dwars door Vlaanderen (meaning "across Flanders") was organised in 1945. From the 1960s onwards, it marked the start of the Flemish cycling week, a period in March and April each year featuring E3 Harelbeke - now the E3 Saxo Bank Classic - and Gent-Wevelgem, with the Tour of Flanders as its climax.

The race continued to grow in popularity over the years. The International Cycling Union made it part of its World Tour, the highest level of cycling, in 2017. A year later, the race was moved to the Wednesday before the Tour of Flanders. A women's edition of the race takes place on the same day. There, world champion Lotte Kopecky will be looking to win her first Dwars door Vlaanderen.

Dwars door Vlaanderen is quite a different race from the Tour of Flanders, known as the Ronde, mainly due to its length. Wednesday's edition is 188.6km, compared to the 270.8km of this year's Tour of Flanders. This gives outsiders a better chance of winning compared to Sunday's endurance race.

Participants will be further encouraged by the absence of world champion Mathieu van der Poel: the Dutchman, winner of the E3 Saxo Classic this season, is skipping Dwars door Vlaanderen to rest up for the Ronde. Last year's winner, Christophe Laporte, meanwhile, is still recovering from illness.

Their absence does not mean that Dwars door Vlaanderen will be easy to win, as there is still a lot of talent in the line-up. Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne winner Wout Van Aert and Gent-Wevelgem winner Mads Pedersen are among the favourites.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO DAVID PINTENS

Related news

Website preview
Flanders Classics Closes the Gap: equal prize money for women
Flanders Classics equalises the prize money in men's and women's races in all Flemish cycling classics. In 2022 this was already the case for the Tour of Flanders, but now the principle applies to a all races, starting Saturday with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Website preview
Dwars door Vlaanderen: again a virus put a spoke in the wheel
For the 76th edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen five riders have called in sick. Once again, flu or some other virus seems to be the culprit. It is not the first time this spring that a lot of riders have to give up their ride. Earlier this month 18 have had to give up due to illness in Parijs-Nice. And after the Colbrelli collapsed at the finish line due to a ‘cardiac arrhythmia’ it seems the riders are being careful.

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.

About belganewsagency.eu

Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels