By Bjorn Haake
The KBC-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde is the perfect preparation race for the Ronde van Vlaanderen, offering four stages in three days over cobbles and climbs in the Flanders region of Belgium. The race is only four stages long for the strongest riders, though. The final stage, a 15-kilometre time trial, is open to the top 120 individuals in the general classification after the third stage.
The total race is a good 500 kilometres long, yielding a nice daily average to prepare for the 260-kilometre Ronde the weekend after. The first stage hits the climbs right away, with familiar names in the road book. Leberg, Berendries, Eikenmolen – the riders will also encounter them in the biggest Classic in this region.
Cobbles won't be missing either in the first stage, 199 kilometres long and with no less than 13 hellingen (the short steep climbs). Quite a lot compared to the 16 in the Ronde (in other words there is about one kilometre more 'flat' road between the climbs in the Tour of Flanders...)
Continue to full preview of the 33rd KBC-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde