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HARELBEKE, Belgium (VN) — Snow on the Koppenberg on Sunday for Tour of Flanders?
That seems unlikely, but riders and teams woke up to a rare spring snowstorm Friday in Belgium.
A sprinkling of snow covered the ground around Oude Kwaremont and some of the other famous cobbled climbs in the Flanders hill country.
Weather forecasters, however, are calling for cool but sunny skies for Sunday’s De Ronde. The snow appears to be a one-day affair.
“My weather app is telling me it will be cold but sunny on Sunday,” said Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix). “That’s what I am hoping for.”
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Friday morning’s surprise snowfall prompted a few teams to cancel training rides ahead of Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, including Bora-Hansgrohe, and Ineos Grenadiers.
With scores of riders and teams suffering with health issues, no one wanted to push too hard Friday with a mix of snow and rain, light wind, and temperatures near freezing.
Riders continue to drop out of Tour of Flanders for health reasons, including Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), Gent-Wevelgem podium finisher Dries Van Gestel (TotalEnergies), and the entire Israel-Premier Tech team.
Weather forecast for Tour of Flanders:
Sunday morning in Antwerp: Cold with temperatures around 29F, cloudy skies, slight wind.
Sunday afternoon in Oudenaarde: Temperatures around 48F, with a light chance of afternoon showers, moderate northerly winds of 6-10mph.
Some riders seemed unfazed by the weather conditions, and realize that Flanders will be challenging no matter what nature throws at them.
“Last year at Paris-Roubaix it was not that cold, but it rained very hard,” said Lotto-Soudal’s Florian Vermeersch, who was second to Sonny Colbrelli last year. “It makes no difference to me if it is 3C or 15C. If it’s colder, we just have to wear more clothes.”
— FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope (@FDJ_NAqui_Fut) April 1, 2022