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Tour of Flanders names four wildcard teams for men

OUDENAARDE BELGIUM OCTOBER 18 Lea Lin Teutenberg of Germany and Ceratizit WNT Pro Cycling Team Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy and Team Trek Segafredo Jessica Allen of Australia and Team Mitchelton Scott Sarah Roy of Australia and Team Mitchelton Scott Peloton Cobblestones Landscape during the 17th Tour of Flanders 2020 Ronde van Vlaanderen Women Elite a 1356km stage from Oudenaarde to Oudenaarde RVV20 FlandersClassic on October 18 2020 in Oudenaarde Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Organisers of the Tour of Flanders announced today the final lineups for teams in both the men’s and women’s races on April 4, returning to a traditional Spring Classic calendar slot.

Four UCI ProTeams received wildcard invitations to participate in the 105th edition of the second Monument of the season, including two Belgian teams, Bingoal Casino-Wallonie Bruxelles and Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, and two French squads, B&B Hotels p/b KTM and Total Direct Energie.

Joining the 19 UCI WorldTeams are the top two ProTeams that secured invitations to race: Alpecin-Fenix, featuring defending champion Mathieu van der Poel, and Team Arkea-Samsic.

Coming to the start line in Oudenaarde for the 18th edition of the Women’s Tour of Flanders will be nine WorldTeams and 15 Continental teams, led by Team SD Worx, which should field defending champion Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and 2018 winner and world champion Anna van der Breggen.

Joining the other eight WorldTeams are five Belgian teams: Lotto Soudal Ladies, Ciclismo Mundial, Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team, Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team and Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire Cycling Team. On the Jumbo-Visma Women’s team will be 2013 Flanders champion Marianne Vos.

The field will be rounded out by Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team, Valcar-Travel & Service, Parkhotel Valkenburg, A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team, Drops-Le Col supported by TEMPUR, Massi-Tactic Women Team, Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano and Hitec Products.

In the last year’s 135km edition, Boels Dolmans went 1-2 on the podium, as Van den Broek-Blaak went solo for the title on the Oude Kwaremont and Amy Pieters sprinted to second from the chasing group.

The 2020 men’s contest was full of mayhem, from being moved to October as the final cobbled Classic of the coronavirus pandemic-altered season to world champion Julian Alaphilippe’s (Deceuninck-QuickStep) crash with a race motorbike that resulted in a double-fractured right hand and took him out of a three-rider showdown for the title. The ensuing head-to-head battle between Van der Poel and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) gave the Dutchman the top prize.

Last week, organisers stated that spectators would not be permitted to gather along the sides of the roads for any of its five events - Gent-Wevelgem (March 28), Dwars door Vlaanderen (March 31), Tour of Flanders (April 4), Scheldeprijs (April 7) and Brabantse Pijl (April 14) - due to the ongoing pandemic. The start and finish areas, and cobbled sections, will also be closed off from public access.