Ronde van Vlaanderen organizers will act on criticism lobbed at the Tour of Flanders over the last two years and will update the course for the season’s second major one-day classic in 2014.
In a move that Flanders Classics staff hope will result in less control and more attacking, they have altered the finish circuits and moved the Koppenberg closer to the finale.
The 2014 parcours will feature the Oude Kwaremont three times and the Paterberg twice, with the final climbs coming 17km and 13km from the finish, respectively. The final 45km of the 256km route will include six of the race’s 17 hellingen: Koppenberg (620m, 10.2%), Steenbeekdries (700m, 5.3%), Taaienberg (800m, 5.6%), Kruisberg (1.8km, 4.8%), Oude Kwaremont (2.2km, 4.2%), and Paterberg (380m, 13.7%).
The Koppenberg will move from 64km out to just 45km from the line, pushing the mythical, cobbled berg back into the limelight on the first Sunday of April. The final circuits utilized in 2012 and 2013 diminished the role of the climb.
The iconic Muur-Kapelmuur will not return to the race’s route in 2014.