Flanders Classics has announced the Tour of Flanders will finish in Oudenaarde until at least 2023 after it extended its deal with the Belgian town for a further six years. The contract was due to expire in 2017 after Oudenaarde first hosted the finish in 2012. The new contract requires Oudenaarde to pay an annual fee of €400,000 to host the Flemish monument.
Since its introduction onto the calendar in 1913, the Tour of Flanders has enjoyed several various start and finish locations. For the first decades of the Tour of Flanders the race finished in Ghent at different locations before the finish was moved to Meerbeke in 1973. In 2012 it then moved to Oudenaarde. Since 1998, the race has started in Bruges, but from 2017 will begin in Antwerp.
The race organisers explained the re-signing on the finish location contract is to boost the profile of Oudenaarde as a cycling destination and focal point of the spring classics. The Tour of Flanders is the final event of four one-day Belgian WorldTour race next spring that starts with the Dwars door Vlaanderen and also features E3 Harelbeke and Gent–Wevelgem.
Since being moved to the Oudenaarde finish, the race has been won by Tom Boonen (2012), Fabian Cancellara (2013-14), Alexander Kristoff (2015), and Peter Sagan (2016) in the 100th edition. The Women's Tour of Flanders also finishes in Oudenaarde, with Lizzie Armitstead getting the better of Emma Johansson in 2016.