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Inside the Tour of Flanders museum: The weird, the wonderful, and the wildly misjudged

Despite a wildly misjudged section on why women will never beat men, there is a lot of interesting artifacts to be found here.

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Oudenaarde, Belgium (VN) — Few races have their own dedicated museum, but the Tour of Flanders does.

The Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen in Oudenaarde was opened long before the race finish was relocated there in 2011, but now it is situated right in the heart of the race it celebrates.

The Tour of Flanders is embedded into the culture of the region and regularly pulls in some of the biggest crowds at any event on the UCI’s road calendar.

While the last two seasons have seen near-empty roadsides due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2022 “Ronde” should see the masses return to cheer on Flanders’ finest.

The build-up to Flanders, and Paris-Roubaix, begins with the “opening weekend” of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

VeloNews is in town for the races and decided to pop along to the museum and see what it has to offer.

What we found was a treasure trove of old and new equipment from the Tour of Flanders annals, a delve into the beginnings of the race, and a wildly misjudged display on female cyclists that is in desperate need of updating.

Despite the slightly odd section on why women will never be able to beat men, there are attempts to include the women’s race into the displays.

The museum is a great place to spend a few hours, with an audio guide providing added insight into the race’s history.