The organisers of the Tour of Flanders today announced the route for the 2015 race, which will be largely the same as the 2014 course but with two added climbs in the first half. The final 150km will remain the same, with three loops around Oudenaarde helping to funnel the spectators into the action-packed finale.
This year, Flanders Classics estimated there were 825,000 spectators along the course, and it plans to continue to improve the "Tour Experience". The race will have concentrated "spectator villages" on the Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg, Kruisberg, and Koppenberg climbs as well as at the finish in Oudenaarde.
Organisers also named Zwevegem as the Village of the Tour for 2015 in tribute to Marcel Kint, known as the "Black Eagle", who won the Tour of Flanders in 1935. Kint later became world champion in Valkenburg in 1938 held the rainbow jersey for eight years because of the outbreak of World War II.
The Tour of Flanders will once again begin in Bruges, travelling to Oudenaarde over the first 100km. Along the way the riders will encounter the first climb, now the Tiegemberg, at kilometer 87.3. The first cobbled ascent comes with the first trip up the Oude Kwaremont after 112.9km.
After the men tackle the Oude Kwaremont for the first time, spectators can then watch the women's field go past. The race will be the third World Cup event of 2015 for women.
The men will go on to tackle nine more climbs before returning, including the Berendries at kilometer 171.1, which returns to the race after two years of road works. Also in the interim are the Eikenberg, Molenberg, and Kaperij cobbled climbs.
The men's second ascent of the Oude Kwaremont signals the beginning of the fireworks at kilometer 210.3, and it is closely followed by the Paterberg 3.4km later, and the critical ascent of the Koppenberg after 220.3km.
The third trip up the Oude Kwaremont is also the penultimate climb, with the Paterberg the last with 13km before the finish in Oudenaarde.
Climbs of the 2015 Tour of Flanders
1. Tiegemberg (km. 87,3): 5% avg., 9 % max.
2. Oude Kwaremont (km. 112,9 km, first passage): cobbled, 4% avg., 12% max.
3. Kortekeer (km. 123,2): 6% avg., 17% max.
4 .Eikenberg (km. 130,7): cobbled, 5,5% avg., 11% max.
5. Wolvenberg (133,8): 7% avg., 17% max.
6. Molenberg (km. 146,5): cobbled, 7% avg., 14% max.
7. Leberg (km. 167,0): 6% avg., 14% max.
8. Berendries (km. 171,1): 7% avg., 14% max.
9. Valkenberg (km.): 8% avg., 13% max.
10. Kaperij (km. 187,0): cobbled, 5% avg., 8% max.
11. Kanarieberg (km. 197,4): 8% avg., 14% max.
12. Oude Kwaremont (km. 210,3 km, second passage): cobbled, 4% avg., 12% max.
13. Paterberg (km. 213,7 km, first passage): cobbled, 13% avg., 20% max.
14. Koppenberg (km. 220,3): cobbled, 10% avg., 22% max.
15. Steenbeekdries (km. 225,7): 5% avg., 6,5% max.
16. Taaienberg (km. 228,2): cobbled, 6% avg., 18% max.
17. Kruisberg-Hotond (km. 238,4 km, first passage): 5% avg., 9% max.
18. Oude Kwaremont (km. 248,2 km, third passage): cobbled, 4% avg., 12% max.
9. Paterberg (km. 251,7 km, second passage): cobbled, 13% avg., 20% max.