What's it like to ride the Tour of Flanders sportive?

We travelled to Belgium to ride the famous cobbled climbs of the Tour of Flanders the day before the pros

(Image credit: PHOTOPRESS.BE)

The Tour of Flanders Sportive ride takes place on the Saturday before the race itself and attracts 16,000 riders, of whom around 4,000 are from the UK.

The 2017 ride offered four routes: the full pro route covered 237km and started in Antwerp, finishing in Oudenaarde some 80km away. There was a 200km route starting in Antwerp too.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.