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Tour of Flanders training - Gallery

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Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) on the Paterberg

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) on the Paterberg (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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EF Education First-Drapac preview the course

EF Education First-Drapac preview the course (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Astana out riding the Tour of Flanders route

Astana out riding the Tour of Flanders route (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Team Sky previews the Tour of Flanders route

Team Sky previews the Tour of Flanders route (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Michal Kwiatkowski and Luke Rowe test the cobbles on the Paterberg

Michal Kwiatkowski and Luke Rowe test the cobbles on the Paterberg (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali consults with Rik Verbrugghe for the cobbled classic

Vincenzo Nibali consults with Rik Verbrugghe for the cobbled classic (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Johan Bruyneel takes part in the Ronde fondo

Johan Bruyneel takes part in the Ronde fondo (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) on the Paterberg

Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) on the Paterberg (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bahrain-Merida on the Koppenberg

Bahrain-Merida on the Koppenberg (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors)

Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Zdenek Stybar visits the Koppenberg

Zdenek Stybar visits the Koppenberg (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Astana on the Koppenberg

Astana on the Koppenberg (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Bahrain-Merida pre-ride the Tour of Flanders route

Bahrain-Merida pre-ride the Tour of Flanders route (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Heinrich Haussler and Vincenzo Nibali on the Koppenberg

Heinrich Haussler and Vincenzo Nibali on the Koppenberg (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Ronde

The Ronde (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Stuyven on the Koppenberg

Stuyven on the Koppenberg (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Trek-Segafredo

Trek-Segafredo (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Ryan Mullen and Jasper Stuyven tackle the hellingen

Ryan Mullen and Jasper Stuyven tackle the hellingen (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) in his training gear

Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) in his training gear (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) on the Koppenberg

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) on the Koppenberg (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe) enjoyed a sunny day of riding

Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe) enjoyed a sunny day of riding (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jasper Stuyven, Ryan Mullen, and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)

Jasper Stuyven, Ryan Mullen, and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)

Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bahrain-Merida on the climb

Bahrain-Merida on the climb (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Belgian champion Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) on the Paterberg

Belgian champion Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) on the Paterberg (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R La Mondiale)

Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R La Mondiale) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) tests his injured knee to find he's able to race Tour of Flanders

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) tests his injured knee to find he's able to race Tour of Flanders (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott)

Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott) (Image credit: Sirotti)

The Friday before the Tour of Flanders marks a critical final phase in the riders' preparation for the biggest race in Belgium - the pre-ride of the course allows the contenders to take one last look at the cobbled climbs, narrow roads and sharp turns that will shape the race on Sunday.

The preview was of utmost importance to Belgian champion Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), who injured his knee in a crash during Wednesday's rainy Dwars door Vlaanderen. The pavé now dry, Naesen tackled some of the route and declared himself fit to start.

The day was also a big one for Vincenzo Nibali and his Bahrain-Merida teammates: the Milan-San Remo winner will race the Tour of Flanders for the first time - presumably in preparation for the cobbled stage of the Tour de France in July, but his presence in the race is intriguing since he has already demonstrated in 2014 that he is quite at ease on the pavé.

Mitchelton-Scott were also out en force, with the team looking to finally capture the one Monument which has eluded them. Astana, Trek-Segafredo and even former rider and now-banned directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel also previewed the route, the latter for Saturday's Ronde van Vlaanderen sportif.

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