Tour of Flanders 2024 start returns to Antwerp – full route

The route profile for the 2024 Tour of Flanders

The route profile for the 2024 Tour of Flanders (Image credit: Flanders Classics)

The Tour of Flanders route has been overhauled for 2024 as race organisers move the start location back to Antwerp after starting the annual alternation with Bruges last season. An emphasis on safety has led Flanders Classics to shift the route to more major roads on the run out to the finishing circuits around Oudenaarde and a new approach to the Koppenberg.

The elite men's race, which will take place on March 31, 2024, will start with a team presentation on the Grote Markt in Antwerp but riders will head through the city neutralised for 5km before the flag drops for the start of racing.

"From Steenplein, we head to the Oudaen [a former police headquarters designed by modernist architect Renaat Braem] and then cycle along the Meir [the main shopping district in Antwerp. The latter will undoubtedly produce some exceptional footage," said Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel.

"At Operaplein, we ride towards Italiëlei and then on to the Waasland tunnel. With this altered course, the official start is still on Antwerp territory. At the Galgenweel [a brackish lake] on the Linkeroever [the left bank of the Schelde], the flag goes up."

Also new is the approach to the circuits that include the critical moments on the Paterberg and Oude Kwaremont climbs.

"The changes in the first 100 km are safety-related choices," Race Director Scott Sunderland said. "We have been looking even further for wide roads so that the peloton has more space in which to build up speed.

"The edition from Bruges, where we carried out a similar exercise for the opening hours of the race, showed how these wide roads led to high averages in the opening hours. That speed ultimately helped to determine the shape of the race and the strategic choices of the teams."

The Tour of Flanders will pass through Sint-Niklaas, Hamme, Haaltert, Herzele and Zottegem en route to the Flemish Ardennes where they will start the same circuits that have been used since 2012 with some small changes on the approach to the Koppenberg 45km before the finish.

"We have opted to change the approach for the men and to make it the same as the one for the women. A choice for equality, but above all for reasons of safety," Sunderland said.

"This change means that after the first climb of the Paterberg, the riders will cycle on roads where it is easier to keep track of things. We are making the approach to the Koppenberg more straightforward and are taking out the descent and sharp bend just before the climb."

The change allows the women's convoy to follow the same detour as the men's and allows team car support through to the base of the Koppenberg and removes a choke point on the course for team cars and riders. 

"These situations were becoming too dangerous and safety is our highest priority. Furthermore, we also want to adapt our course to the way in which the peloton races," Sunderland said. "Both the Kortekeer and the Kanarieberg will not be included in the course this year. But we are adding the Kapelleberg."

From the Koppenberg onwards, the course will remain the same as the past 12 years with the cobbled sections on the Mariaborrestraat, Steenbeekdries and Stationsberg leading to the climbs of the Taaienberg, Oude Kruisberg/Hotond and the final, decisive ascents of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg with 13km before the finish on Minderbroedersstraat in Oudenaarde.

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