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Gallery: A Tour of Flanders retrospective

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Fans get close to the action on the bergs.

Fans get close to the action on the bergs.
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Nick Nuyens wins the 2011 edition of the Tour of Flanders

Nick Nuyens wins the 2011 edition of the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Stijn Devolder holds aloft the 2009 winners trophy

Stijn Devolder holds aloft the 2009 winners trophy
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Stijn Devolder goes back-to-back in 2009

Stijn Devolder goes back-to-back in 2009
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2007 podium of Leif Hoste, Alessandro Ballan and Luca Paolini

The 2007 podium of Leif Hoste, Alessandro Ballan and Luca Paolini
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Heinrich Haussler finished second at the 2009 Tour of Flanders

Heinrich Haussler finished second at the 2009 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Italian Alessandro Ballan (C-Lampre) goes back on his bike after a fall next to Graeme Brown (Rabobank) (R) during the 90th Tour of Flanders in 2006.

Italian Alessandro Ballan (C-Lampre) goes back on his bike after a fall next to Graeme Brown (Rabobank) (R) during the 90th Tour of Flanders in 2006.
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Tom Boonen collects his second Flanders in 2006.

Tom Boonen collects his second Flanders in 2006.
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Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) takes the win in 2007.

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) takes the win in 2007.
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Italian Alessandro Ballan(Lampre) and Belgian Leif Hoste (Predictor-Lotto) ride in the leading pack during the 91st Tour of Flanders in 2007.

Italian Alessandro Ballan(Lampre) and Belgian Leif Hoste (Predictor-Lotto) ride in the leading pack during the 91st Tour of Flanders in 2007.
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Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) takes the win in 2007.

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) takes the win in 2007.
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Fabian Cancellara in 2007.

Fabian Cancellara in 2007.
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Peter van Petegem (Lotto-Domo), Johan Museeuw (Quick-Step) and George Hincapie (US Postal).

Peter van Petegem (Lotto-Domo), Johan Museeuw (Quick-Step) and George Hincapie (US Postal).
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Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile), Leif Hoste, (Lotto-DOMO) and Dave Bruylandts (Chocolade Jacques) in 2004.

Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile), Leif Hoste, (Lotto-DOMO) and Dave Bruylandts (Chocolade Jacques) in 2004.
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 Workers restore the cobbles on Muur van Geraardsbergen in 2003.

Workers restore the cobbles on Muur van Geraardsbergen in 2003.
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A Phonak rider is attended to after a crash.

A Phonak rider is attended to after a crash.
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Peter van Petegem (Lotto-DOMO) wins the 2003 race in front of Frank Vandenbroucke (Quick-Step).

Peter van Petegem (Lotto-DOMO) wins the 2003 race in front of Frank Vandenbroucke (Quick-Step).
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The peloton rodes during the 2006 race.

The peloton rodes during the 2006 race.
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Pushing the bike is sometimes required in Flanders.

Pushing the bike is sometimes required in Flanders.
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Tom Boonen won his first Flanders in 2005.

Tom Boonen won his first Flanders in 2005.
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Lance Armstrong climbs during the 2010 Tour of Flanders.

Lance Armstrong climbs during the 2010 Tour of Flanders.
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Fabian Cancellara took his first Flanders win in 2010.

Fabian Cancellara took his first Flanders win in 2010.
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Philippe Gilbert (Lotto) climbing the Bosberg in 2011.

Philippe Gilbert (Lotto) climbing the Bosberg in 2011.
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Nick Nuyens (Saxobank) wins the 2011 race in front of Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek).

Nick Nuyens (Saxobank) wins the 2011 race in front of Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek).
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Rolf Sørensen (Rabobank) on the move in 2007.

Rolf Sørensen (Rabobank) on the move in 2007.
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George Hincapie takes a bottle during the 2008 race.

George Hincapie takes a bottle during the 2008 race.
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Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank) attacks in 2008.

Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank) attacks in 2008.
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Tour of Flanders 2008 winner Stijn Devolder (Quick Step).

Tour of Flanders 2008 winner Stijn Devolder (Quick Step).
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Karsten Kroon (Team CSC) in 2008.

Karsten Kroon (Team CSC) in 2008.
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Crash for Maarten den Bakker (Skil Shimano) during the 2008 race.

Crash for Maarten den Bakker (Skil Shimano) during the 2008 race.
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The Flanders crowds are some of the most enthusiastic in cycling.

The Flanders crowds are some of the most enthusiastic in cycling.
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Andrea Tafi (Team CSC) on Bosberg in 2003.

Andrea Tafi (Team CSC) on Bosberg in 2003.
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 Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) in 2003.

Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) in 2003.
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Three-time Flanders winner Johan Museeuw (Quick-Step) sports a Lion of Flanders helmet.

Three-time Flanders winner Johan Museeuw (Quick-Step) sports a Lion of Flanders helmet.
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Eliot Lietaer of Belgium and Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise lies on the ground after crashing during the race in 2013.

Eliot Lietaer of Belgium and Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise lies on the ground after crashing during the race in 2013.
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Tom Boonen of Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Belgium lies on the ground injured after crashing in 2013.

Tom Boonen of Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Belgium lies on the ground injured after crashing in 2013.
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Anthony Geslin crosses the finish ligne walking and carrying his bike of the 93st Tour of Flanders on April 5, 2009.

Anthony Geslin crosses the finish ligne walking and carrying his bike of the 93st Tour of Flanders on April 5, 2009.
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Stijn Devolder of Quick Step celebrates as he crosses the finish line of the 92nd Tour of Flanders in 2008.

Stijn Devolder of Quick Step celebrates as he crosses the finish line of the 92nd Tour of Flanders in 2008.
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Eddie Merckx leading as the riders arrive in Meerbeke during the 1973 Tour of Flanders.

Eddie Merckx leading as the riders arrive in Meerbeke during the 1973 Tour of Flanders.
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 Italian Paolo Bettini (C-Quick Step/Bel) drinks during the 91th Tour of Flanders in 2007. Italian Alessandro Ballan (Lampre/Ita) won ahead of Belgian Leif Hoste (Predictor Lotto-Bel) and Italian Luca Paolini (Liquigas/Ita).

Italian Paolo Bettini (C-Quick Step/Bel) drinks during the 91th Tour of Flanders in 2007. Italian Alessandro Ballan (Lampre/Ita) won ahead of Belgian Leif Hoste (Predictor Lotto-Bel) and Italian Luca Paolini (Liquigas/Ita).
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 Riders dismount on won of the bergs of Flanders in 2006.

Riders dismount on won of the bergs of Flanders in 2006.
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 Tom Boonen (Quick Step) rides during the 90th Tour of Flanders in 2006

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) rides during the 90th Tour of Flanders in 2006
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 The pack rides during the 90th Tour of Flanders in 2006.

The pack rides during the 90th Tour of Flanders in 2006.
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) kisses the trophy on the podium after winning the 90th Tour of Flanders in 2006.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) kisses the trophy on the podium after winning the 90th Tour of Flanders in 2006.
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Dutch cyclist Cees Bal crossing the finishing line as the winner of the 1974 Tour of Flanders.

Dutch cyclist Cees Bal crossing the finishing line as the winner of the 1974 Tour of Flanders.
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The Lion of Flanders is ever-present at the race.

The Lion of Flanders is ever-present at the race.
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Fabian Cancellara won his third Tour of Flanders in 2014.

Fabian Cancellara won his third Tour of Flanders in 2014.
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The peloton rides through the Flanders countryside.

The peloton rides through the Flanders countryside.
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Riders tackle the Koppenberg in 2002.

Riders tackle the Koppenberg in 2002.
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US champion Fred Rodriquez (Domo Farm Frites) in 2002.

US champion Fred Rodriquez (Domo Farm Frites) in 2002.
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Serge Baguet of Lotto and Andrea Tafi of Mapei in 2002.

Serge Baguet of Lotto and Andrea Tafi of Mapei in 2002.
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Andrea Tafi (Mapei) climbs the Koppenberg in 2002.

Andrea Tafi (Mapei) climbs the Koppenberg in 2002.
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Peter van Petegem and Serge Baguet of Lotto are trailed by George Hincapie of US Postal.

Peter van Petegem and Serge Baguet of Lotto are trailed by George Hincapie of US Postal.
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Geert van Bondt (CSC) Erik Zabel (Telekom) in 2002.

Geert van Bondt (CSC) Erik Zabel (Telekom) in 2002.
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Andrea Tafi (Mapei-QuickStep) won the Tour of Flanders in 2002.

Andrea Tafi (Mapei-QuickStep) won the Tour of Flanders in 2002.
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Crowds surround the riders.

Crowds surround the riders.
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Mario Cippolini (Acqua and Sapone) in the World Cup leader's jersey at the 2002 race.

Mario Cippolini (Acqua and Sapone) in the World Cup leader's jersey at the 2002 race.
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Andrea Tafi (Mapei-QuickStep) won the Tour of Flanders in 2002.

Andrea Tafi (Mapei-QuickStep) won the Tour of Flanders in 2002.
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The peloton climbs the Paterberg in 2014.

The peloton climbs the Paterberg in 2014.
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German Steffen Wesemann celebrates as he wins the 2004 Ronde van Vlaanderen.

German Steffen Wesemann celebrates as he wins the 2004 Ronde van Vlaanderen.

The Tour of Flanders will celebrate its 99th edition Sunday when the peloton lines up for the start in Bruges. Over those 99 years, only six men have won the event a record three times.

Two of those riders are still competing this season, but Trek Factory Racing's Fabian Cancellara (2010, 2013, 2014) and Etixx-QuickStep's Tom Boonen (2005, 2006, 2012) will sit out this year because of injuries. Their absence leaves the race wide open for a new cast of characters to make their mark on the Ronde.

In anticipation of Sunday's fireworks,Cyclingnews has compiled this gallery of photos from the race's modern era.

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