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Belgians divided on new Flanders course

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Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) salutes the crowds in Bruges.

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) salutes the crowds in Bruges.
(Image credit: Daniel Benson)
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Boonen in action during his 2012 Tour of Flanders win

Boonen in action during his 2012 Tour of Flanders win
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Boonen fields questions from the press about his victory at Tour of Flanders plus this weekend's Paris-Roubaix.

Tom Boonen fields questions from the press about his victory at Tour of Flanders plus this weekend's Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)

The build up to this year's Tour of Flanders provoked much debate and controversy owing to the significant changes to the course of the emblematic Belgian race. Race administrators elected to perform major surgey to the finale for almost 40 years, finishing in the town of Oudenaarde and losing one of the race's most iconic climbs, theMuur van Geraardsbergen.

Despite a thrilling race that was won in dramatic fashion by local hero Tom Boonen, a poll conducted by Belgian newspaper Sporza found that 52% of their readers compared the new route unfavourably with the old one. Over 13,500 people took part in the poll.

Considering the amount of negative press and publicity surrounding the changes before the race, the race organisers will probably view such a close result as something of a victory.