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Tour of Flanders: Fanside photos from an epic day of Classic racing

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A young Fabian Cancellara fans peers out from within the crowd

A young Fabian Cancellara fans peers out from within the crowd
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Fans listen to the action before it comes passed

Fans listen to the action before it comes passed
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Tyler Farrar wins the bunch sprint

Tyler Farrar wins the bunch sprint
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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An Eddy Merckx lookalike arrives at the finish as the team mechanics clean the bikes

An Eddy Merckx lookalike arrives at the finish as the team mechanics clean the bikes
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Matt Wilson (Garmin-Cervelo) heads to the sign on

Matt Wilson (Garmin-Cervelo) heads to the sign on
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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World Champion Thor Hushovd was one of the most popular riders at the start

World Champion Thor Hushovd was one of the most popular riders at the start
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Roger Hammond leaves the team bus but is jumped on by fans

Roger Hammond leaves the team bus but is jumped on by fans
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Two Germans, Klier and Degenkolb on the attack early in the day

Two Germans, Klier and Degenkolb on the attack early in the day
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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The long road: Chavanel powers on, three fans watch on

The long road: Chavanel powers on, three fans watch on
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Geraint Thomas (Sky) uses his radio as fans look on

Geraint Thomas (Sky) uses his radio as fans look on
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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The start zone is the perfect place for fans and indeed photoraphers and journalists to catch up with the teams and riders

The start zone is the perfect place for fans and indeed photoraphers and journalists to catch up with the teams and riders
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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The Belgian crowd were biting their nails when Nuyens escaped with Chavanel and Cancellara

The Belgian crowd were biting their nails when Nuyens escaped with Chavanel and Cancellara
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Pockets of fans lined the entire route

Pockets of fans lined the entire route
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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A lone member of the BMC staff waits for the bunch to pass through at the feed

A lone member of the BMC staff waits for the bunch to pass through at the feed
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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You're pouring that all wrong

You're pouring that all wrong
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Fans wait for hours for just a second's glance at their favourite riders

Fans wait for hours for just a second's glance at their favourite riders
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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A young boy waves the Flandrian flag

A young boy waves the Flandrian flag
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Generation game: Fans of all ages come out for Flanders

Generation game: Fans of all ages come out for Flanders
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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The busiest places are on the top of the climbs, the noise fever pitch

The busiest places are on the top of the climbs, the noise fever pitch
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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The Belgian crowds enjoy a swift beer or two

The Belgian crowds enjoy a swift beer or two
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Lars Boom (Rabobank) shone for Holland on Belgian turf

Lars Boom (Rabobank) shone for Holland on Belgian turf
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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Stuart O'Grady (Leopard Trek)

Stuart O'Grady (Leopard Trek)
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)
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The Euskatel team car arrives at the start

The Euskatel team car arrives at the start
(Image credit: Mark Johnson/www.ironstring.com)

The 2011 Tour of Flanders was one of the most exciting one-day races in recent years. It had everything - favourites cracking, multiple attacks, solo breaks, crashes and gripping scenes that kept you guessing until the finish line.

While the action on the road made up the majority of the coverage, one aspect of the race that struck photographer Mark Johnson was the passion show by the fans on the route. From the start line in Bruges to the finish in Meerbeke, crowds flocked to the event, packing the road sides, bars, cafes, and climbs.

Mark, who has previously shot for us at the Tour of California, spent the day on the road capturing the essence and flavour of the crowds and fans that help make Flanders one of the incredible races on the world.

Click here to see his photos.