The one-day classic Tour of Flanders is the most important of Flanders’ cycling races. Part of the UCI World Tour, it is held in spring each year, a week before the Paris–Roubaix road race. Along with the Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Giro di Lombardia, it is one of the so-called ‘monuments’ of the European professional calendar, the most prestigious one-day races in the world.
Competitors in the race must take on a twisting route of around 260km, normally featuring around 28km of cobbles, through the Flemish countryside. The route includes a series of around 17 short, sharp climbs such as the legendary Oude Kwaremont, the Koppenberg, the Muur-Kapelmuur and the Bosberg, with the last climb located just a few kilometres from the finish.
The 2013 edition of the race, which travelled 256.2km from Bruges to Oudenaarde, was won by the Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara. He claimed his second title by bursting clear of the field on the Paterberg, the final climb of the day, to win by over a minute from runner-up Peter Sagan from Slovakia, and third-placed Jurgen Roelandts from Belgium.
The most successful rider in the history of the race has been the Belgian Johan Museeuw, who won the event three times in 1993, 1995 and 1998, as well as finishing second three times and third twice. Four other riders have also won the race three times – Belgians Tom Boonen, Achiel Buysse and Eric Leman, and the Italian Fiorenzo Magni.