Entries are now open for the Tour of Flanders sportive on Saturday April 4, 2009. The full distance 259km route with its 17 brutal cobbled climbs is the exact course tackled by the professional peloton 24 hours later in the Ronde, making for a perfect cycling weekend.
17,000 riders tackled the sportive this year, with a large British contingent making the short trip through the channel tunnel to ride on Saturday and watch the action on Sunday.
There is a choice of three road distances and three MTB routes, with the mid-distance 140km road route missing out the opening flat section but still including such classic climbs as the Koppenberg, Oude Kwaremont and the infamous Muur, with its leg breaking 20% sections.
If you have your eyes on the full 259km, bear in mind the early start: a shuttle bus runs from the finish town of Ninove to the start in Bruges leaving 05:30 sharp. This service is open to pre-registered entrants only.
Click here to enter.