Gallery: Tour of Flanders preparations

Riders scout the cobbled climbs ahead of De Ronde

On the eve of the Tour of Flanders, the peloton is putting the last touches on their preparation - scouting the critical cobbled sections in between press conferences, massages, meals, and studying the road book, all the while trying to keep the nerves calm.

Race favourites, outsiders and domestiques alike mingled with locals and enthusiastic visitors on the famed cobbled ascents, highlighting the unique beauty of cycling, where the fans and the famous athletes come together on the same pitch.

A crystal clear day preceded this year's Tour of Flanders, and it's the calm before the storm. Sunday morning, the clouds will roll in, the cars will kick up plumes of dust across the countryside, and the gladiators will clash in the most beautiful of cycling spectacles.

Enjoy this gallery as you await the start of De Ronde.

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