The iconic Tour of Flanders may be canceled this year, but the race organizers have found other ways to bring the cobbled bergs to the public.
Flanders Classics has organized “the first virtual edition [of the race] ever, as well a radio play featuring 104 years of Flanders’ finest.”
A statement from the race organizers, Thursday, revealed that a virtual race had been prepared in collaboration with online training platform Bkool and technology brand Kiswe. The event would take place Sunday (April 5), the original date for the 2020 Tour of Flanders.
“In a closed tour reserved exclusively for professional cyclists, 13 pros will be competing during the last 32 km of the Tour of Flanders – on their home trainers,” read the statement. “Thanks to Kiswe we will be able to watch the riders tackle a virtual Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg in real-time on the Bkool platform.”
Eurosport presenters Rob Hatch and Matt Stephens will commentate on the race. Details on how to watch will be published on Flanders Classics social media platforms.
Additionally, a radio play will be available to listen to at the following website: www.cycling-in-flanders.cc.
“The Officially Unbelievable Ronde van Vlaanderen will transport cycling fans to an era of unwritten, thrilling cycling history — just as if you were listening to the commentary to a genuine, live cycling race,” Flanders Classics said. “Get ready for a story with some incredible plot twists, featuring cameo appearances by heroes from one hundred years of cycling history such as Eddy Merckx, Johan Museeuw, Fabian Cancellara, Mario Cipollini, Briek Schotte, Bradley Wiggins, Fausto Coppi and the Van der Poel family.”
The events are the latest concept designed by teams and riders to keep audiences engaged in the racing stop brought about by coronavirus. Many teams including EF Pro Cycling and Mitchelton-Scott have been hosting group rides on Zwift to allow the public to train with the pros.