The Tour of Flanders is described by many the hardest race in the world.
Covering 270km of relentless cobbled climbs, only the most experienced and toughest riders can battle for victory.
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With Alberto Bettiol riding solo to victory, Greg Van Avermaet missing out on another chance at Flanders glory and Alexander Kristoff taking the bunch sprint for third, there were plenty of stories to take away from the 2019 edition.
But how hard is Flanders really?
Well thanks to the wonders of Strava, we can get a unique insight into the monumental efforts riders put in.
Sadly, Alberto Bettiol hasn’t uploaded his data to the social media for athletes but we can still see the data for other riders who featured in the final.
Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) finished third on the day, having made it to the final in the front group and taking the bunch sprint behind Bettiol and Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) who finished second.
Winner of the 2019 Ghent-Wevelgem Kristoff averaged 41km/h over the 270km and almost seven hours on the bike.
The Norwegian also hit a maximum speed of 82km/h.
Unfortunately Kristoff didn’t upload his power to Strava, but the site estimates he hit 1,200 watts in the sprint for the line.
Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) finished 10th on the day as part of the front group, and was one of the main animators in the final.
The Belgian claimed the King of the Mountain on the final ascent of the Kruisberg around 30km from the line, matching the previous best time of 3-56.
He held an average speed of 27.3km/h over the 2km climb, holding 381w over the distance and hitting 928w maximum.
One of the most aggressive riders in the early part of the day was Bahrain-Merida’s Matej Mohorič.
The Slovenian’s efforts didn’t pay off as he finished 41st, but he was still a major animator.
Mohorič averaged an estimate 376w over the course of the day, hitting a maximum 1,300w.
Alejandro Valverde was another notable story from the cobble Monument, as the Spaniard raced Flanders for the first time at 38 years old.
The Movistar rider does publish his power to Strava, as he averaged 232w over the day.
He temporarily took the KoM for the Koppenberg-Steenbeekdries-Taaienberg segment, before loosing it to Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck- Quick-Step) and Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky).
Over the 14-minute effort, Valverde averaged 300w and hit a maximum of 907w.
Ag2r La Mondiale’s Oliver Naesen recovered from illness to finish seventh, cementing his strong performance so far in the Classics.
The Belgian took four KoMs over the course of the day, all on flat and fast segments.