Photo gallery: 2016 men’s Tour of Flanders

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The fields and laneways of Flanders are beautiful at this time of year, especially when skies are blue and there's no rain on the horizon. Throw in a couple hundred of the world's best riders and large crowds and you've got ideal conditions for the world's best cycling photographers to work their magic. Kristof Ramon was among those on location for the men's Tour of Flanders on Sunday and he captured the terrific images you see below.

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

For terrific photos from the women’s Tour of Flanders, be sure to check out this gallery over at our sister site, Ella.



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  • Legstrong

    Beautiful photos! Side note: Lizzie had to wait 6 hrs to get that winners photo. Is that common? Or just this special occasion?

    • Ben Greeve

      Looks like the women had their own podium, presumably soon after their finish. Does look a bit odd being in kit so long after finishing though…

      • Michele

        Yep, the women’s podium was held immediately after the men’s race finished. Then about 10 minutes after that they held the men’s podium.

      • Dave

        The women’s presentations were held just after the men’s race – but the wait would have been no different to that which happens when a rider going out early in a TT takes the win.

        The placegetters wouldn’t have been just sitting around in that time, they would have done a full length cool down (unlike Sagan, Cancellara and Vanmarcke), anti-doping control, mandatory media commitments, had a shower and put on a fresh kit. Even official photos with the trophy would have been done before the presentation, so they could leave as soon as the presentation was finished.

        At the grand tours, most riders due to attend a podium presentation will usually get at least a fresh jersey for the presentation (even if they don’t need to swap a leader’s jersey they were riding for the team jersey to have another leader’s jersey re-presented) even if it follows fairly promptly after the finish. It’s a basic lesson in Looking After Your Sponsors 101.

    • From memory the women’s race finished with about 50-60km left in the men’s race so the wait would have been less than two hours I think. But yes, still a fairly long wait!

    • Michele

      It was a couple of hours. I think it’s a little unusual, if because for no other reason that the men’s race [I’m not sure about the women’s race] has that circuit to include Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg etc.

      The logistics of making sure the two races don’t cross paths as they criss-cross through Flanders would be a little tricky.

      • Zoutpiel

        If a little inconvenient, it’s a nice touch to have them both up there – every little bit helps bringing more exposure to women’s cycling.

        • Zoutpiel

          And these shots are amazing – such a photogenic sport we have, can see the effort / pain!

        • Dave

          Yep. As much as it might be inconvenient, the only thing they can afford less is to NOT have their race on the same day and half of the same course as the Tour of Flanders.

      • Dave

        Tt took me about five minutes to work out, obviously it would be a touch more complex for the race organisers who would factor in race convoy length from leaders to broom wagon, and the winds on the long point-to-point run from Brugge for the men.

        The key point to consider is timing the scheduled times of the passes through the crossroads village of Berchem (the start of the two circuits and the final loop) so the women’s race heads through there between the first and second passes of the men’s race.

        To understand out how it worked, each race can be broken down into a number of segments.

        The men’s course had
        1. The 97.4km point-to-point run from Brugge to Berchem, passing through the eastern side of Oudernaarde and across the Scheldt for a straight run to Berchem.
        2. The first Berchem-Berchem circuit of 98.5km, including the first climb of the Oude Kwaremont, nine other climbs and five cobble sectors.
        3. The second Berchem-Berchem circuit of 38km, including the second climb of the Oude Kwaremont, the first climb of the Paterberg, the Koppenberg four more climbs and one cobble sector.
        4. The final 21km loop from Berchem up the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, then down to the Scheldt and running straight to the finish at Oudernaarde.

        The women’s course was basically:
        1. a loop to the north-east of Oudernaarde which the men’s race did not use.
        2. the last 75km of the men’s 98km circuit from Volkegem to Berchem, but with the deviation through Ronse and the climb of the Kruisberg which the men did only on the second 38km circuit.
        3. the same 21km final loop and run in as the men.

        The forecast earliest/average/latest times of arrival at the important crossroads at Berchem were:
        men’s first pass (start of 98km circuit) 12:40 12:49 13:00
        women’s pass (start of the final loop) 14:15 14:24 14:35
        men’s second pass (start of 38km circuit) 14:51 15:10 15:31

        If both races started on time and went to the average schedule, the women’s race would have finished 1h36 ahead of the men’s race, just after the men’s race had climbed the Kararienberg with 70km to go.

        As it happened, I don’t know about the start times (a start can be held up if someone has a puncture/mechanical in the neutral zone) but both races ran between the average and slowest expected schedules.

        I’ve always wondered whether the next step for the ongoing development of the WTDU (after this year’s race put Australia back on the women’s international map) would be to have the stage 4 crit replaced by a shortened variant of the same road stage as the TDU stage 1 on the same day. It could work well if both races were started from the same location with the TDU heading off first, followed ~15 minutes later by the WTDU start. If the TDU course were to follow the full length of the WTDU course and then do an extra loop of around 40km, the WTDU stage finish would slot in between the first and second passes of the TDU field.

    • Dave

      It wasn’t anywhere near six hours as the men’s race was already well into their first circuit of 100km when the women’s race finished.

      Holding linked presentation is fairly common when there are multiple events running on the same day, and it’s the small price the women’s riders have to pay for their events tagging along to get extra exposure.

      Stage 1 of the WTDU this year had ‘repeat’ presentations held at the Tour Village in the evening along with the WTDU and TDU team presentations, stage 2 had their presentations back to back with the men’s presentations after the Peoples Choice Classic.

    • jules

      putting the women’s podium on after the men’s race I’d hazard a guess would have been done to maximise exposure. I am a big fan of the women’s racing that was a great race with a gutsy win by Lizzie. unfortunately as we know a lot of people are like “the men are faster, I’m only interested in their race” so I think it was a good idea to combine them.

      I doubt Lizzie or other podium-getters cared about hanging around for an hour or 2 after winning/podiuming at the Ronde.

  • binotto

    Wonderful photographs Kristof!! Thanks so much for this photoessay. Love the title shot of Sagan and the black & white one of Cancellara at the start. The shot of Kwiatkowski really pops too.

  • awesometown

    What crazy idea… a cycling website that values user experience and beauty of content over clicks between photos surrounded by chain reaction banners.

  • david__g

    I’m pleased to see how happy Cancellara looked on the podium after looking pretty miffed crossing the line.

    Great photos all round.

  • Neuron1

    Sagan’s podium shoes are awesome.

  • aranwatson

    Amazing gallery! Thank you thank you thank you. Beautiful.

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