Tour of Flanders for Women

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Tour of Flanders for Women
Tour of Flanders logo.svg
Race details
DateEarly April
RegionFlanders, Belgium
Local name(s)Ronde van Vlaanderen voor Vrouwen (in Dutch)
CompetitionUCI Women's World Tour (since 2016)
TypeOne-day race
OrganiserFlanders Classics
Web Edit this at Wikidata
First edition2004 (2004)
Editions16 (as of 2019)
First winner Zoulfia Zabirova (RUS)
Most wins Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel (NED)
 Judith Arndt (GER)
(2 wins)
Most recent Marta Bastianelli (ITA)

The Tour of Flanders for Women (Dutch: Ronde van Vlaanderen voor Vrouwen) is the women's edition of the Tour of Flanders, an annual road bicycle racing event in Flanders, Belgium, held in early April. It is held on the same day as the men's race, on much of the same roads but at a shorter distance. Dutch rider Mirjam Melchers and German Judith Arndt hold the record with two wins. Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen won the most recent race in 2018.[1]

The event has been held annually since 2004 on the same day as the men's race. From 2004 to 2015 it was part of the UCI Women's Road World Cup. Since 2016, the race is included in the UCI Women's World Tour, cycling's top-tier female elite competition. Since the first edition, organisers have included more climbs and extended the race gradually from 94 km in the first edition to 157 km in 2019.[2][3]


The first race[edit]

The first running of the Tour of Flanders for Women was held on 4 April 2004.[4] The race was 94 km long, making it the shortest in history, and featured nine categorized climbs, including the Muur van Geraardsbergen and Bosberg as the last two climbs.[2] The race started in Oudenaarde and finished in Ninove, with the last 55 km identical to the men's race. Russia's Zoulfia Zabirova won the inaugural event after she broke clear on the Muur and crossed the finish solo. Trixi Worrack beat Leontien van Moorsel in a sprint for second place.[5].

Josephine Groenveld (in blue) and Fabiana Luperini (in orange) at the 2006 race on the Muur van Geraardsbergen

Farce in 2005[edit]

The second Tour of Flanders in 2005 was extended to 112 km, featuring 12 climbs.[6] Dutch rider Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel won the race, after distancing her teammate and breakaway companion Susanne Ljungskog in the final kilometer.[7] The race for third place ended in farcical circumstances. A group of 20 riders was sent the wrong way in the final two kilometres and crossed the finish line in the opposite direction.[2] All riders in the group, including World Cup leader Oenone Wood, were disqualified from the race.[7] Melchers repeated her win in 2006, becoming the first to win the race twice.[8]

By 2009, the race ran over 131 km and contained three long flat cobbled sectors in addition to the climbs.[9] German sprinter Ina-Yoko Teutenberg won the event in a sprint of a 15-strong group ahead of Kirsten Wild and Emma Johansson.[10] The first and only Belgian rider to win the Tour of Flanders was Grace Verbeke in 2010 after she narrowly stayed ahead of the chasing group.[2][11]

Move to Oudenaarde[edit]

Peloton on the lower slopes of Oude Kwaremont at the 2015 event.

In 2012 the finish of both the men's and women's events moved to Oudenaarde, making Oudenaarde both the start and finish location of the women's race. The Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg replaced the Muur van Geraardsbergen and Bosberg as the final two climbs of the race.[12] German Judith Arndt became the second woman to win the Tour of Flanders on two separate occasions.[2] As she did in her first win in 2008, Arndt beat American Kristin Armstrong in a two-up sprint.[13]

Cycling greatness Marianne Vos won the 2013 event, following three previous podium places, in a four-woman sprint ahead of Ellen van Dijk and Emma Johansson, after the quartet had gotten away on Oude Kwaremont.[14] Van Dijk soloed to victory in 2014 with a move on the Hotond climb, at 26 km from the finish, and held a winning margin of more than one minute over Lizzie Armitstead and Emma Johansson.[2][15] Elisa Longo Borghini was the first Italian winner in 2015 with an attack at 30 km from the finish. Jolien D'Hoore won the sprint for second before Anna van der Breggen.[16]

World Tour Race[edit]

Lizzie Deignan leads a group ahead of Anna van der Breggen and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot on Oude Kwaremont.

In 2016 the Tour of Flanders was included in the inaugural UCI Women's World Tour.[17] Britain's Lizzie Armitstead won the race in a two-up sprint with Emma Johansson after the duo had broken clear on Oude Kwaremont.[18] Sweden's Emma Johansson holds a joint record of four podium finishes, but failed to claim a Tour of Flanders victory.[n 1]

The 2017 event was the first run under the new UCI regulations, which allowed for longer women's races.[2] The route was extended to 153.2 km, featuring 12 climbs and five flat sectors of cobbles. After a six-year hiatus, organisers brought back the Muur van Geraardsbergen, as they had done for the men.[19] Coryn Rivera became the first American winner in an 18-strong sprint before Gracie Elvin and Chantal Blaak.[20]

In 2018 the Tour of Flanders was the first women's event to be broadcast in full live on television.[21] Olympic road race champion Anna van der Breggen won the race after a 28 km solo attack on the Kruisberg.[22] She increased her lead over the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg and maintained her effort to the finish. Amy Pieters was second at more than a minute from van der Breggen, the largest winning margin in the women’s Tour of Flanders history.[1]


Roadmap of the 2019 event: the race starts and finishes in Oudenaarde, covering 157 km and taking in 10 climbs. The final 16 km are in green.

Present course[edit]

Start of the 2018 Tour of Flanders on the market square in Oudenaarde.
The Paterberg in Kluisbergen is the steepest and last climb of the race with 13 km remaining from the top.
The Haaghoek road is the fifth and last flat cobbled sector of the race.

The race starts and finishes in Oudenaarde, 30 km south of Ghent in East Flanders.[3] It is 157.4 km and has a similar finale as the men's Tour of Flanders, with many of the same hills, except for the Koppenberg. The first 90 km wind through the hills of the Zwalm region, before addressing the climbs in the Flemish Ardennes between Geraardsbergen and Oudenaarde in the last 60 km. The final 60 km contain the most iconic climbs, notably the Muur van Geraardsbergen, Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg.[19] The course runs almost entirely in the province of East Flanders. Since 2017, eight kilometres of the trajectory between Geraardsbergen and Ronse run over roads in the Walloon province of Hainaut.[19]

Climbs and cobbled roads[edit]

The short, sharp hills in the Flemish Ardennes are a defining feature of the Tour of Flanders and the locations where spectators gather in large numbers. Each climb has its own characteristics with varying gradients and surface, presenting different challenges to the riders. The Kwaremont is 2.2 km long with an uneven cobbled surface, but is relatively shallow in gradient. The Paterberg is short and, at 20 percent, the steepest climb of the women's race.[23]

In 2017 and 2018, the race featured 12 climbs, compared to 18 in the men's event,[12] and five long flat cobbled sectors.[24] The final 31 km, including Kruisberg, Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, are identical to the men's finale.[25] In addition to the climbs, there are five flat sectors of cobbles in the first half of the race, i.e. Langemunte, Lippenhovestraat, Paddestraat, Holleweg and Haaghoek, comprising 7.8 km of cobbles.[19]

Categorized climbs in the 2017 and 2018 Tour of Flanders[19]
No. Name Distance from Surface Length
Gradient (%)
(ave.) (max.)
1 Achterberg 56.0 97.2 asphalt 1500 4.3% 11%
2 Eikenberg 62.6 90.6 cobbles 1200 5.2% 10%
3 Wolvenberg 65.7 87.5 asphalt 645 7.9% 17.3%
4 Leberg 74.5 78.7 asphalt 950 4.2% 13.8%
5 Berendries 78.6 74.6 asphalt 940 7% 12.3%
6 Tenbosse 83.5 69.7 asphalt 450 6.9% 8.7%
7 Muur van Geraardsbergen 93.9 59.3 cobbles 1075 9.3% 19.8%
8 La Houppe 112.5 40.7 asphalt 2800 3.3% 10%
9 Kanarieberg 118.3 34.9 asphalt 1000 7.7% 14%
10 Kruisberg–Hotond 126.7 26.5 cobbles–asphalt 2500 5% 9%
11 Oude Kwaremont 136.5 16.7 cobbles 2200 4% 11.6%
12 Paterberg 140.0 13.2 cobbles 360 12.9% 20.3%
Cobbled sectors in the Tour of Flanders[19]
No. Name Distance from Length
1 Lange Munte 12,5 139,4 2470
2 Lippenhovestraat 36,3 115,6 1 300
3 Paddestraat 37,8 114,1 1 500
4 Holleweg 63,4 88,5 1 500
5 Haaghoek 69,1 82,8 2 000


Podium of the 2014 event: Ellen van Dijk (middle) flanked by Lizzie Armitstead (l) and Emma Johansson (r).
Year 1st 2nd 3rd
2004 Russia Zoulfia Zabirova
Team Let's Go Finland
Germany Trixi Worrack
Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
Netherlands Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel
Team Farm Frites-Hartol
2005 Netherlands Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel
Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team
Sweden Susanne Ljungskog
Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team
Italy Monia Baccaille
Italian national team
2006 Netherlands Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel
Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team
Austria Christiane Soeder
Univega Pro Cycling Team
Netherlands Loes Gunnewijk
Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team
2007 United Kingdom Nicole Cooke
Raleigh–Lifeforce–Creation HB Pro Cycling Team
Kazakhstan Zoulfia Zabirova
Bigla Cycling Team
Netherlands Marianne Vos
Team DSB Bank
2008 Germany Judith Arndt
Team High Road
United States Kristin Armstrong
Cervélo–Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team
Netherlands Kirsten Wild
AA-Drink Cycling Team
2009 Germany Ina-Yoko Teutenberg
Team Columbia Highroad Women
Netherlands Kirsten Wild
Cervélo Test Team
Sweden Emma Johansson
AA-Drink Cycling Team
2010 Belgium Grace Verbeke
Lotto Ladies Team
Netherlands Marianne Vos
DSB Bank - LTO
Netherlands Kirsten Wild
Cervélo Test Team
2011 Netherlands Annemiek van Vleuten
Nederland Bloeit
Russia Tatiana Antoshina
Netherlands Marianne Vos
Nederland Bloeit
2012 Germany Judith Arndt
United States Kristin Armstrong
USA National Team
Canada Joelle Numainville
Canada National Team
2013 Netherlands Marianne Vos
Rabobank Women Cycling Team
Netherlands Ellen van Dijk
Team Specialized–lululemon
Sweden Emma Johansson
Hitec Products UCK
2014 Netherlands Ellen van Dijk
United Kingdom Lizzie Armitstead
Sweden Emma Johansson
2015 Italy Elisa Longo Borghini
Belgium Jolien D'Hoore
Netherlands Anna van der Breggen
2016 United Kingdom Lizzie Armitstead
Sweden Emma Johansson
Wiggle High5
Netherlands Chantal Blaak
2017 United States Coryn Rivera
Team Sunweb
Australia Gracie Elvin
Netherlands Chantal Blaak
2018 Netherlands Anna van der Breggen
Netherlands Amy Pieters
Netherlands Annemiek van Vleuten
2019 Italy Marta Bastianelli
Team Virtu Cycling
Netherlands Annemiek van Vleuten
Denmark Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig
Bigla Pro Cycling

Multiple winners[edit]

Wins Rider Editions
2  Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel (NED) 2005, 2006
 Judith Arndt (GER) 2008, 2012

Wins per country[edit]

Wins Country
6  Netherlands
3  Germany
2  Italy,  United Kingdom
1  Belgium,  Russia,  United States


Sweden's Emma Johansson holds a joint record of four podium finishes, but failed to win the Tour of Flanders.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Both Marianne Vos and Emma Johansson finished on the podium four times, but Vos won the event in 2013.


  1. ^ a b c Knöfler, Lukas (1 April 2018). "Van der Breggen storms to Tour of Flanders victory". Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g O'Shea, Sadhbh. "Women's Tour of Flanders: Six of the best". Cyclingnews. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Roadmap" (PDF). Flanders Classics. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b Scrymgeour, Kristy. "1st Women's Ronde van Vlaanderen - CDM". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  5. ^ Henry, Chris. "1st Women's Ronde van Vlaanderen - CDM. Belgium, April 4, 2004". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  6. ^ Jones, Jeff. "Who will follow Zabirova?". Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  7. ^ a b Jones, Jeff. "2nd Women's Ronde van Vlaanderen - CDM. Belgium, April 3, 2005". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  8. ^ Jones, Jeff; Decaluwé, Brecht. "1st Women's Ronde van Vlaanderen - CDM. Belgium, April 2, 2006". Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  9. ^ " presents the 5th Women's Ronde van Vlaanderen".
  10. ^ Benson, Daniel. "Teutenberg takes her Monument". Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Verbeke becomes the first Belgian winner of Flanders". Cyclingnews. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Technische Gids" (pdf) (in French). Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres Results". Union Cycliste Internationale. Infostrada Sports. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Ronde van Vlaanderen(127.4 kk) 31/03/2013". 31 March 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  15. ^ Ellen van Dijk solos to victory in women's Tour of Flanders,, 2014, retrieved 18 April 2014
  16. ^ Westemeyer, Susan. "Longo Borghini wins Tour of Flanders World Cup". Cyclingnews. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  17. ^ "UCI Women's WorldTour Ranking – 2016: Individual". UCI Women's WorldTour. Infostrada Sports; Union Cycliste Internationale. 11 September 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  18. ^ Braverman, Jessi. "Lizie Armitstead wins Women's Tour of Flanders". Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "14° Ronde van Vlaanderen - Vrouwen" [14th Tour of Flanders - Women] (PDF). Tour of Flanders (in Dutch). Flanders Classics. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  20. ^ "Uitslag - Résultat - Result" (PDF). Royal Belgian Cycling League. 2 April 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  21. ^ McKall, Terry. "Women's Gent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders will be televised in 2018. Flemish Classics to live broadcast women's editions, along with other improvements". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Van der Breggen bekroont knappe solo met zege in Ronde van Vlaanderen" [Van der Breggen crowns handsome solo with a win in Ronde van Vlaanderen]. (in Dutch). Sanoma. 1 April 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Ellen van Dijk solos to victory in women's Tour of Flanders -".
  24. ^ Flanders Classics. "Ronde Van Vlaanderen". Ronde Van Vlaanderen.
  25. ^ "Niet alleen de mannen, ook de vrouwen rijden zondag hun Ronde van Vlaanderen: alles wat u moet weten". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 31 March 2017.