Not quite recovered from Saturday’s stage? Too bad, because early in the final stage of our three-day race you’ll hit two tough famous climbs that easily live up to their reputations: first the Leo Piron path with its stone-riddled surface, then the Koppenberg with its world-famous cobblestones and its extraordinarily steep climbing gradients.
Just after follows a series of sections that have already proven their worth during our two previous editions where they were included in the Saturday stages. We take you through Oudenaarde, our starting town from last year, on our way towards Maarkedal, home of mountain bike legend and national coach Filip Meirhaeghe. Along the way, we’ll treat you to some well-known “kaskes”(cobbles) such as the Taaienberg.
Our favorite part in the stage is once again the sections in and around the Muziekbos. Last year, the technical passages here such as the “Boske van Mijnheur Dokteur” and “Maneschijn” inspired wide smiles on the competitors’ faces despite the many altitude meters they had to tackle. This year, we expect, will be a repeat of events.
The return to the Hotond Sporthotel, which is completely new, is certainly worthy of this final slot of the last stage: as you climb the flanks of East Flanders’ highest point, the altitude meters really add up! If, at the end, there is still some juice in the legs, then the Fiertelmeers (just look up the gradients of this arduous climb) is guaranteed to squeeze it out!
Once you’ve cleared that climb, the famous pit of the Hotond Arena awaits you. Down and up the slopes and you’re ready to receive eternal fame from your supporters, your overly-earned finishers’ shirt and some tasty pancakes. And we’re sure that the Ename abbey beer will never have tasted so good or so rewarding!
PROFILE STAGE 3 (per lap)