13 pros including Remco Evenepoel and Wout van Aert to race virtual Tour of Flanders

The cobbled Monument may be postponed, but a host of star riders will still be racing from the comfort of their homes

Tour of Flanders 2019 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This weekend cycling fans should be looking forward to a huge race on the calendar – the 2020 Tour of Flanders.

Instead due to coronavirus instead we’re left wondering when we might see the peloton again, as the UCI has further suspended racing.

But for those desperate to fill the hours without conventional bike racing, the organisers of the Tour of Flanders are putting on a unique spectacle this weekend, as we’ll see the likes of Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck- Quick-Step), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) race a virtual edition of the prestigious Monument.

The Tour of Flanders 2020 ‘lockdown edition’ will take place on Sunday (April 5) as a one-hour race with 13 pros competing. The race will be broadcast live on Global Cycling Network's YouTube channel, starting at 2.30pm (BST).

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Taking on the final 32km of the race, the event will be held on indoor training platform Bkool and feature the iconic climbs of the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg.

More details of where to watch this event will be published soon.

A statement from Tour of Flanders organiser Flanders Classics said: “Of course, the real Tour of Flanders has been postponed for the time being in line with the guidelines issued by the government to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Nevertheless, we have found an alternative for the Tour of Flanders this Sunday.

“Flanders Classics developed a unique concept in collaboration with technology partners Bkool and Kiswe. Not only that, the participating teams also contributed their part to this wonderful initiative. The teams were not only more than willing to join in, they are what’s more doing so entirely free of charge.”

Other riders competing in the event include Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Zdenek Štybar (Quick-Step) and 2019 Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol (EF Pro Cycling).

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The UCI has now suspended racing for a further month, now until at least June 1 as the world tries to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the news, the organiser of the Critérium du Dauphiné announced that the 2020 edition would be postponed from its scheduled start of May 31.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.