2021 Women's Tour of Flanders (De Ronde van Vlaanderen)

Annemiek Van Vleuten, Marianne Vos, Favorites For Women's Tour Of Flanders

Annemiek Van Vleuten, Marianne Vos, Favorites For Women's Tour Of Flanders

FloBikes has picked five favorites from an impossibly deep field of contenders at this weekend's women's Tour of Flanders.

Apr 2, 2021 by Rebecca Reza
Why Women's Flanders Is So Special

The women’s Ronde Van Vlaanderen is the most hotly contested one-day race for the pro women’s peloton. 

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The historic race should see plenty of fireworks Sunday, with the list of names expected on the starting line. Last year’s solo victory by SD Worx (then Boels Dolmans) Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak may be a tough one to repeat, facing the current level of racing in the women’s peloton this season. 

The 157-kilometer route will take the women through four flat sections of cobbles, and 10 climbs. Just as in the men's race, the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg will be the final two climbs before the 13-kilometer run to the finish in Oudenaarde. 

While the explosive racing often happens on the climbs, the final 13 kilometers are the most tactical of the race. In 2020 Anna Van Der Breggen and Amy Pieters disrupted the chase of Elisa Longo Borghini and Annemiek Van Vleuten last season, allowing Van den Broek-Blaak to escape to victory.  

Read on to see FloBikes top-five picks for the women's Tour of Flanders.

Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx)

The defending champion is back, following a solo win at Strade Bianche several weeks ago that she regarded as, ‘the biggest victory in her career.’  Broek-Blaak will be backed by a slew of capable winners from the World Champion Anna Van der Breggen, to Julian D’hoore and Amy Pieters. 

Any one of the SD Worx riders could take the reins and go for the win themselves, but the defending champion may will likely be given extra protection from her all-star teammates.


Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma)

Marianne Vos is back on top form, sprinting to victory in last week’s Gent-Wevelgem. The win confirmed the potential of the new Jumbo-Visma women's program. 

The confidence boost will help the Dutch champion hunt for another title since winning Flanders in 2013. Vos has one of the fastest sprints in the field, and will not be phased by any of numerous cobbled climbs. However, the depth of her new team may be tested in the final 13 kilometers by the established powers of SD-Worx and Trek-Segafredo.


Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing)

Lotte Kopecky returns to Flanders, with no less than five top 5 finishes in her Classics campaign this season. The Belgian champion will be in the hunt for a dream monument victory. 

Kopecky came up just short last week, once again finishing second at Gent-Wevelgem. Kopecky is classified as a sprinter but her ability on the Flemish cobbles earned her a third place finish in 2020. The Belgian will also have both Soraya Paladin and Jeanne Korevaar to support her efforts Sunday, both of whom played important roles in Gent-Wevelgem.


Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo)

It is tough to choose a favorite from Trek-Segafredo with so many former Tour of Flanders Champions on their roster. 

Elisa Longo Borghini however has shown incredible strength in the classics this season, despite not yet earning a victory. Longo Borghini won Flanders in 2015 and fell 300 meters short of solo to victory at Gent-Wevelgem. 

Trek-Segafredo put the peloton on notice at Gent-Wevelgem with a four-rider attack in the final 20 kilometers. Though the team fell short of a result, they proved that they can use their numbers to dictate the race. Longo Borghini will be flanked by Ellen Van Dijk, a two-time winner of Flanders, 2016 winner Lizzie Deignan, cyclocross world champion Lucinda Brand, and American champion Ruth Winders. 


Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar Team)

Team Movistar's investment in their women's program is poised to pay off this weekend as Annemiek Van Vleuten takes on her first monument with the Spanish outfit. 

Despite only a few race days under her belt, she arrives at Flanders following a strong win at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. 

The former World Champion launched a trademark long-range attack that only Canyon//Sram’s Kasia Niewiadoma was able to follow. 

American Leah Thomas played a key role in Van Vleuten’s mid-week win and will be a powerful ally at Flanders. The young Classics specialist Emma Norsgaard will also be an important player on the Movistar roster. 

Van Vleuten is a consistent top-five finisher at Flanders, but surprisingly only won the race once, in 2011. The dominant Dutchwoman returns to Flanders on a mission after an uncharacteristic 15th place in 2020.