Flanders hopefuls recon the cobbles and climbs - Gallery

Riders gearing up for Sunday's Tour of Flanders took to the cobbles and climbs this week for some pre-race reconnaissance, getting in some last-minute tune-up mileage on the hallowed Classics terrain ahead of De Ronde.

The likes of Greg Van Avermaet and John Degenkolb have been preparing for the big showdown even as they've contested victories in the run-up races all month, but in less than two days they'll battle for Flanders' most coveted cycling prize. Riders visited the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, whose slopes have proven decisive in recent editions of the race, as well as the iconic Muur van Geraardsbergen, making its return to the Tour of Flanders this season after a few years of being left off the route.

Some, including Quick-Step's Tom Boonen ahead of his final Tour of Flanders appearance, found the route already graced with welcoming street art.

Click or swipe through the gallery for a closer look at the action from the recon sessions.

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