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Gallery: Teams pre-ride Tour of Flanders route

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 Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Tjallingii (Lotto NL-Jumbo)

Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Tjallingii (Lotto NL-Jumbo)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Greg Van Avermaet, Silvan Dillier and Marcus Burghardt in action during the reconnaissance of the course prior to Sunday's Tour of Flanders.

Greg Van Avermaet, Silvan Dillier and Marcus Burghardt in action during the reconnaissance of the course prior to Sunday's Tour of Flanders.
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The Kwaremont climb comes twice near the finish.

The Kwaremont climb comes twice near the finish.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Wanty-Groupe Gobert team car handles the cobbles.

The Wanty-Groupe Gobert team car handles the cobbles.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Barriers on the Koppenberg.

Barriers on the Koppenberg.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Thomas Leezer (Lotto NL-Jumbo)

Thomas Leezer (Lotto NL-Jumbo)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Thomas Leezer (Lotto NL-Jumbo)

Thomas Leezer (Lotto NL-Jumbo)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling)

Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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fabio Taborre (Androni Giocattoli)

fabio Taborre (Androni Giocattoli)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The cobbles are ready for the 99th Tour of Flanders.

The cobbles are ready for the 99th Tour of Flanders.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Koppenberg awaits.

The Koppenberg awaits.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Marco Marcato (Wanty Groupe Gobert).

Marco Marcato (Wanty Groupe Gobert).
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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IAM Cycling's Sylvain Chavanel.

IAM Cycling's Sylvain Chavanel.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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IAM Cycling's Heinrich Haussler.

IAM Cycling's Heinrich Haussler.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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IAM Cycling riders on the bergs.

IAM Cycling riders on the bergs.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Oscar Gatto (Androni Giocattoli)

Oscar Gatto (Androni Giocattoli)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Tom Van Asbroeck (Lotto NL-Jumbo)

Tom Van Asbroeck (Lotto NL-Jumbo)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Tjallingii (Lotto NL-Jumbo)

Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Tjallingii (Lotto NL-Jumbo)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Silvan Dillier of BMC Racing Team, Greg Van Avermaet, Marcus Burghardt, Jempy Drucker and Daniel Oss get in some reconnaissance prior to Sunday's Tour of Flanders.

Silvan Dillier of BMC Racing Team, Greg Van Avermaet, Marcus Burghardt, Jempy Drucker and Daniel Oss get in some reconnaissance prior to Sunday's Tour of Flanders.
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Geraint Thomas of Team Sky is seen on the Oude Kwaremont during the reconnaissance of Sunday's Tour of Flanders route.

Geraint Thomas of Team Sky is seen on the Oude Kwaremont during the reconnaissance of Sunday's Tour of Flanders route.
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Sebastian Langeveld of Cannondale-Garmin is seen on the Koppenberg during the reconnaissance.

Sebastian Langeveld of Cannondale-Garmin is seen on the Koppenberg during the reconnaissance.
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Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step)

Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Nikolas Maes and Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep)

Nikolas Maes and Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Nikolas Maes and Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep)

Nikolas Maes and Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep)

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep)

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Stijn Vandenbergh and Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep)

Stijn Vandenbergh and Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Lotto NL-Jumbo

Lotto NL-Jumbo
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quick Step)

Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quick Step)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Oscar Gatto (Androni Giocattoli)

Oscar Gatto (Androni Giocattoli)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Team Sky out training for the Tour of Flanders

Team Sky out training for the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Team Sky)

The absence of Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) from the Tour of Flanders start list for Sunday's 99th edition has left the race wide open for a rider from the next generation of Classics specialists to stake his claim to de Ronde.

Although the winner may be new, the course is littered with the traditional climbs and challenges that have built the race into a Monument. Nineteen climbs dot the 264.2km route, beginning with the Tiegemberg after 87km before the first of three ascents of the Oude Kwaremont 20km later. A long softening up process follows, as the race criss-crosses the Flemish Ardennes by tackling the Kortekeer, Eikenberg, Wolvenberg, Molenberg, Leberg, Berendries, Kaperij and Kanarieberg.

In the final 55 kilometres, the race takes on the Kwaremont and Paterberg as a combination for the first time, before heading straight for the Koppenberg. The Steenbeekdries, Taaienberg and Kruisberg bring the survivors back around to face the Kwaremont and Paterberg for the final time, ahead of the wide, straight 13km run-in to the finish line in Oudenaarde.

Many of the teams took advantage of dry weather leading up to the race to pre-ride the pivotal sections of the course that will decided the winner on Sunday.

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