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The 2022 cobbled classics season is in full swing. Already, riders have a taste for Flemish cobbles and bergs with the E3 and Gent-Wevelgem, and several other weekend and mid-week races through March.
Last weekend’s win at Gent-Wevelgem by Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) was no shocker. The world champion held off former world champions, including Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), and sprint star Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) to add to her already-impressive palmarès.
In the men’s race, Eritrean Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) proved his second-place at the 2021 u23 world road championships was no one-off fluke when he bested Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix), Mads Pederson (Trek-Segafredo), and a host of more-experienced sprinters to take a massive best-in-career win.
A few riders to watch in Flanders
Girmay will not be lining up at the start of the 2022 “De Ronde” but his teammate Alexander Kristoff will hope to continue the team’s momentum into the second monument of the year. Tadej Pogačar and Matteo Trentin (both UAE Team Emirates) will be marked, as will Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) — if he does take to the start.
Ineos Grenadiers is sending Tom Pidock — off a strong third place at the Dwars door Vlaanderen — and compatriot Ethan Hayter. Movistar’s favored rider is the seemingly ageless Alejandro Valverde, while the just-slightly younger Vincenzo Nibali (Astana-Qazaqstan) is a favored rider from his squad, who are also sending Gianni Moscon. Bahrain-Victorious has 2022 Milan-San Remo’s champion (and dropper-post tech whiz) Matej Mohorič set to start. Mathieu van der Poel looks to be finding his form — after riding to third at Milan-San Remo, and then a week later winning the Coppi e Bartali, just days before he won the Dwars door Vlaanderen — and is a good bet for a podium. Kasper Asgreen wearing bib #1, Yves Lampaert, and Zdeněk Štybar are a few of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl riders who will be hunting for a “Wolfpack” win. If you had bet on any riders from Israel-Premier Tech for a top-ranking, you might want to reconsider before the betting windows close: the entire team pulled out of the race Friday due to injury and illness.
On the women’s side, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) is an overwhelming favorite, but it’s a bad idea to write off her Dutch compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) wearing bib #1. American Megan Jastrab (Team DSM) is scheduled for a start, but her teammate Lorena Wiebes is an odds-on favorite for a podium. Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) is a marked rider after her streak of three wins in the past three starts, including at Gent Wevelgem. She’ll have the strong support of Lucinda Brand, Elisa Longo Borghini, and Ellen van Dijk. SD Worx is bringing firepower with Lotte Kopecky, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, and Demi Vollering.
How to watch 2022 Tour of Flanders in the United States
Cycling fans in the United States will want to ensure their subscription to Flo Sports is current. The FloCycling coverage of De Ronde will be streamed through web browsers and mobile apps. Streaming of the men’s race is scheduled to begin at 3:55 a.m. EST while women’s race coverage should start at 9:00 a.m. EST.
How to watch 2022 Tour of Flanders in Europe
European viewers can also stream the race on Flo Sports, as well as through EuroSport and through the EuroSport app for subscribers.
How to watch 2022 Tour of Flanders in Australia
Australians can watch riders take on the Flandrian cobbles via SBS Viceland and streaming. The men’s race will be broadcast on SBS OnDemand 18:00 to 20:00 AEST on Sunday, April 3, and on 20:00 to 00:45 AEST Monday, April 4 on SBS Viceland. The women’s race will be broadcast on SBS Viceland Monday, April 4 from 00:45 to 02:00 AEST.