A BRIEF HISTORY
The Tour of Flanders (Dutch: Ronde van Vlaanderen), also known as De Ronde (“The Tour”), is an annual road cycling race held in Belgium every spring. The most important cycling race in Flanders, it is part of the UCI World Tour and organized by Flanders Classics. Its nickname is Vlaanderens Mooiste (Dutch for “Flanders’ Finest”). 2016 marks its 100th year.
Today it is one of the five monuments of cycling, together with Milan–San Remo, Paris–Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Giro di Lombardia. It is one of the two major Cobbled classics together with Paris–Roubaix, which is on the calendar one week after the Tour of Flanders. This grueling event had its only interruptions during World War I and is organized without hiatus since 1919, the longest uninterrupted streak of any cycling classic.
Six men hold the record of most victories, making the Tour of Flanders unique among the major classics. Belgians Achiel Buysse, Eric Leman, Johan Museeuw and Tom Boonen, Italian Fiorenzo Magni and Swiss Fabian Cancellara each have three victories. We can’t leave Eddy Merckx as one of the top heroes of this event’s long history.
Since 2004, a women’s race, the Tour of Flanders for Women, is organized annually on the same day as the men’s but at a shorter distance.