How watching 25 years of Tour of Flanders footage is helping scientists study climate change

And they don't just watch the bike racing.

Michele Bartoli leads Andrei Tchmil during the 1995 Tour of Flanders

(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

It might just sound like a convenient excuse to watch some retro bike racing, but scientists in Belgium are using old footage of the Tour of Flanders to help them study the effects of climate change.

Researchers at the Ghent University have been looking at the impact of climate change on trees, choosing to do this with the help of archive footage from the Tour of Flanders between 1981 and 2006.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.