Women's peloton will finally crest the Koppenberg at Tour of Flanders 2022
Organisers have released the route for the 2022 Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem
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The women's peloton will attack the Koppenberg for the first time in the Tour of Flanders 2022, also cresting the Kemmelberg twice during Gent-Wevelgem - attacking the steeper Ossuaire side for the first time in the race's history.
Organisers Flanders Classics have unveiled the routes, with Gent-Wevelgem gaining 17 kilometres in length, up to 159km, and the Tour of Flanders at 158.5km, vs 152.4 in 2021.
Following the addition of a long-awaited Paris-Roubaix Femmes in 2021, the new routes come in a year where the volume of Women's World Tour race days has significantly increased.
Response to the addition has been, as far as we can see, unanimously positive.
Things we love to see! https://t.co/yxpvpI23yf pic.twitter.com/6ELgMnUxRPDecember 17, 2021
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Gent-Wevelgem will take place on Sunday, March 27. The route will begin at the Grote Markt in Ypres, with the peloton lining up under the Menin Gate.
The peloton will head to De Moeren, taking in the windy and exposed stretch for the first time.
The final 54km will mirror the men's race: climbing the Kemmelberg, on the Belvédère side, before the Scherpenberg, Baneberg and the Kemmelberg once again on the Ossuaire side - this will be the first time the women's race has passed this steeper approach.
The finish will come on the Vanackerestraat in Wevelgem.
The women's race will be broadcast live, after the men's race, which is expected to finish at 5pm - with the women's peloton reaching the line at an expected 6.15pm - leaving, hopefully, 75 minutes of dedicatedd air time.
Just one week later comes the Tour of Flanders, on Sunday, April 3. The race leaves Markt in Oudenaarde. The final 45km, again, mirrors the men's race.
Having dispatched the Koppenberg - for the first time - the riders travel to the final via Steenbeekdries, Taaienberg and Kruisberg/Hotond.
The Oude Kwaremont/Paterberg duo will mark the final charge to the line ahead of the finish line on the Minderbroedersstraat in Oudenaarde.
A scheduled finish of 5.45pm leaves around an hour after the expected finish time of the men, at 4.45pm.
In 2021, it was Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) who took the title at Gent-Wevelgem, with Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) victorious at the Tour of Flanders following a blistering attack on the final climb.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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