Antwerp and Bruges to trade start location positions for Tour of Flanders

Cities of Antwerp and Bruges will trade as the start location for the race of Tour of Flanders in the next six editions. Antwerp will host the start of the Tour of Flanders in 2022, 2024 and 2026, while Bruges will host the start in 2023, 2025 and 2027, was announced by the organizers on Sunday.

Antwerp and Bruges told Flanders Classics they didn’t want to bid up against each other and wanted to share the starts, even expressing the hope of bringing down the cost. Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel reacted positively and a few days later the deal is done. A last-minute press conference was held at the start of the race in Antwerp on Sunday morning.

Under the deal Antwerp will host the next start in 2022, hoping to get some economic return after hosting two starts that were held without spectators amid pandemic restrictions.

The mayor of Bruges, Dirk De Fauw, was present on the start podium in Antwerp next to his colleague from Antwerp, mayor Bart De Wever. “We have fond memories of the starts we hosted in the past. We were sad to see the Ronde disappear five years ago but now we’re happy to see the Ronde come back to Bruges, which is a true cycling-loving city,” said mayor of Bruges De Fauw.

Photo credit; Kevin Mueller/Unsplash