Van Avermaet, Van Aert, and other stars set for virtual Tour of Flanders

by Dane Cash


Defending champ Alberto Bettiol and marquee names like Greg Van Avermaet, Wout van Aert, Zdenek Stybar, and Michael Matthews are set to take on a virtual edition of the Tour of Flanders on Sunday that organizers are calling De Ronde 2020: Lockdown Edition.

This year’s outdoor edition of the Tour of Flanders, initially planned to run on Sunday, was postponed along with countless other races amid coronavirus concerns.

The virtual event will see a handful of riders competing on indoor trainers on the Bkool platform, riding a virtual rendition of the last 32 kilometers of the Tour of Flanders, a stretch that includes the Kruisberg, Oude Kwaremont, and Paterberg before the final run-in to the finish line.

Sporza will broadcast the race live in Belgium.

Organizers invited a select group of pros to participate in De Ronde 2020: Lockdown Edition, with 13 notables set to make the start. Competing along with Bettiol, Van Avermaet, van Aert, and Stybar will be Oliver Naesen, Remco Evenepoel, Yves Lampaert, Jasper Stuyven, Thomas De Gendt, Tim Wellens, Mike Teunissen, and Nicolas Roche.

All but one have made at least one Flanders start in the past with the exception of Evenepoel, who has yet to make any Monument starts in his young career. The rising Belgian star was slated to make his debut in several big races this season; at least after Sunday he can say he participated in his first virtual Tour of Flanders.

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