The day the crowds returned: From viking horns to the smell of beer at the Tour of Flanders

Crowds packed the start, the finish, and every key climb to catch a glimpse of the Ronde

Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It all started with a viking horn. Florian Vermeersch, Lotto Soudal's politician, history student, and Paris-Roubaix runner up, greeted the Antwerp crowd with a viking horn he smuggled onto the stage at the beginning of the 106th Tour of Flanders.

The 23-year-old blows the horn with all his might and the spectators in front of Antwerp's Stadhuis go crazy in response. It is not even 10am on a bitterly cold morning in the north of Belgium, and yet this is the magic of the Tour of Flanders. 

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Adam Becket
News editor

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s news editor – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing. He's usually out and about on the roads of Bristol and its surrounds. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.