Why we love Tour of Flanders (and you should, too)

    To say we’re amped up for Sunday’s showdown would be an understatement. Tour of Flanders, the second of cycling five’s Monuments, is widely considered the pinnacle of one-day racing. The course, the crowds, the atmosphere, the awareness that anything can (and will) happen – it’s distinctly De Ronde. And when a team lines up with a contender for the podium, dreaming of the top step, that belief in possibilities heightens the special feelings.

    We’ll treat it like any other day on the race calendar although it’s anything but. Below the seven EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale riders who will pin on a number in Antwerp on Sunday explain why.

    Matti Breschel

    “You feel the tension in a good way. Something big is coming up, but if anyone can finish it off, it’s Sep. That gives everyone a lot of confidence.”

    Mitch Docker

    “It’s the build-up to Flanders that makes Flanders what it is. We have a few weeks building up to Sunday, and then Sunday is every other race all rolled into one. It’s the cream of the crop. Everything around that replicates that dynamic – the crowds, the hype, even down to the way people get nervous about it, the sense of achievement of getting through it, the feeling about getting a result. It’s an epic battle, and one I live for every year.”

    Sebastian Langeveld

    “I grew up as a child in Holland watching this race, never knowing I would four times be top 10. Along with Roubaix, Flanders is my world championships. It’s the biggest one-day race of the year. As a rider, only Roubaix has the same vibe as this. For me Sunday is a big, big day.”

    Sacha Modolo

    “When you are in Belgium for Flanders, it’s as if you’re breathing a different air. It’s the most beautiful race in the world. Also tactically it is different. The race can be open at any time.”

    Taylor Phinney

    “The crowds make Flanders the pinnacle. There are certain races on the calendar where there is an energy you receive as an athlete, which is the energy that sustains you or at least sustains me. It really inspires me and motivates me to be a part of these races.”

    Tom Scully

    “Coming from New Zealand, I’d compare it to the Rugby World Cup final in New Zealand with All-Blacks in the final. That atmosphere there, that’s what we see on Sunday. Tour of Flanders is world’s apart from where I came from, but it’s the world I live in, and it’s a pretty special thing.”

    Sep Vanmarcke

    “It’s the biggest race in Flanders in the year. As a Belgian, this is, of course, very important. The history, the cobbles and the atmosphere combine to make this race special for riders and fans alike.”

    Looking for more details about what you can expect from Sunday’s race? We highly recommend this Tour of Flanders preview from CyclingTips

    EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale for 2018 Ronde van Vlaanderen

    Sport Directors:
    Andreas Klier (DEU)
    Ken Vanmarcke (BEL)

    Riders:

    Matti Breschel (DEN)
    Mitch Docker (AUS)
    Sebastan Langeveld (NLD)
    Sacha Modolo (ITA)
    Taylor Phinney (USA)
    Tom Scully (NZL)
    Sep Vanmarcke (BEL)