29.03.2023 World-Tour, News, Race news
A STRONG ROSTER FOR FLANDERS
CANYON//SRAM Racing’s roster for Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday, 2 April, is Shari Bossuyt, Elise Chabbey, Kasia Niewiadoma, Soraya Paladin, Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka and Maike van der Duin.
The strengths of Elise and Kasia, alongside the brilliant form of Shari, Soaraya, and Maike, provide CANYON//SRAM Racing with many different opportunities to play its cards. Added depth comes from Agnieszka, who has shone in every race this season with her new team.
Elise says, “Last year was my first Flanders. It was a whirlwind, and I loved it. I think our team has shown in the first races this year that we have many riders who can target the podium at Flanders. That makes our team less predictable than some others. Motivation and concentration are high, and the form of everyone in the team is really strong. We’re excited about what we can achieve together on Sunday.”
Five cobblestone sectors, 13 climbs, 158 kilometres, thousands of screaming fans and one dream. Ronde van Vlaanderen, or Flanders or De Ronde as many call it, is the classic everyone dreams of winning. Climbers, rouleurs, sprinters, debutants and experienced pros all have it on their wishlists. Characterised by famous steep cobbled climbs, twists and turns, and narrow roads, the race on the first Sunday in April is one of the most iconic on the calendar.
The parcours changes for the 20th edition of the women’s race. From Oudenaarde, the peloton heads west for a 55km loop. When it passes back through Oudenaarde, it heads east and attacks climb after climb mayhem as the Flanders landscape throws one challenge after another at it. The Molenberg, Marlboroughstraat and Berendries climbs come within 10km of each other. So too, the Valkenberg and Koppenberg. The Steenbeekdries and Taaienberg have just a few kilometres between them, as do the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg finale. That’s without mentioning the often race-defining Kruisberg/Hotond or the five cobblestone sectors peppered throughout.
Anticipation builds. Tension builds. Opportunities come and, just as quickly, go. Hopes are held climb after climb, kilometre after kilometre, as the riders go deeper into the race. In a flash, those hopes can be gone; missing the winning move, an unlucky crash, a dreaded, empty-leg feeling when they step on the pedals. Not much is certain on Sunday except for one thing—Flanders is a beautiful classic to win.
HOW TO WATCH
Ronde van Vlaanderen starts at 13:30CEST and can be followed on Twitter with #RVVwomen. The broadcast starts at 15:00CEST on GCN, Eurosport, FloSports, SBS Viceland, Sporza, RTV, Rai Sport, TV2, France TV, ESPN, Supersport, and Sky.