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Some of cycling's top stars to ride Tour of Flanders – Lockdown Edition this afternoon

There's also a bizarre Officially Unbelievable Ronde Van Vlaanderen tokeep you entertained,.featuring legends of the sport...

Some of the biggest names in men’s professional cycling will this afternoon ride the Tour of Flanders – Lockdown Edition, with the virtual race, hosted by Sporza with support from Bkool and Kiswe, broadcast online to fans starved of watching live cycling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In all, 13 men will compete in the race, which starts at 3.30pm CET (2.30pm BST) this afternoon, just as what is arguably the biggest one-day race on the professional calendar should have been heading towards its climax.

The one-hour race covers the last 32 kilometres of the Tour of Flanders, including the climbs of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, which have been rendered in digital form by Kiswe..

Here’s a list of broadcasters covering the event.

De Ronde 2020 Lockdown Edition

Among those taking part are 2020 Tour of Flanders winner, the Italian rider Alberto Bettiol of EF Pro Cycling as well as two of Belgian cycling’s top young prospects – Deceuninck-Quick Step’s Remco Evenepoel and Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert.

They will be joined by several other leading Belgian pros – CCC Pro Team’s Greg Van Avermaet, the Lotto-Soudal pairing of Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens, Yves Lampaert of Deceuninck-Quick Step, AG2R-La Mondiale’s Oliver Naesen, and the Trek-Segafredo rider, Jasper Stuyven.

Besides Bettiol, the foreign challengers in the 13-man field are Sunweb’s Nicolas Roche and Michael Matthews, Deceuninck-Quick Step’s Zdenek Stybar and Jumbo-Visma’s Mike Teunissen.

To help entertain fans missing the actual race, there’s also a truly bizarre podcast that imagines an “Officially Unbelievable Ronde Van Vlaanderen.”

The imaginary race is contested by past and present champions and other big names from the sport – including Eddy Merckx, Fausto Coppi, Fabian Cancellara, Sir Bradley Wiggins, and, in a women’s team competing alongside the men in the race, Marianne Vos, Annemiek van Vleuten and Lizzie Armitstead.

“This will, without a doubt, be the most exciting Tour ever,” Visit Flanders promises, “because it is so much more than just another race.

“Get ready for a story with some incredible plot twists, featuring cameo appearances by heroes from one hundred years of cycling history.”

The English commentary comes courtesy of Eurosport’s Rob Hatch and Matt Stephens, who appear to be having a whale of a time reporting on what is, by any measure, an action-packed – if at times, rather far-fetched – race.

You can listen to it here.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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