With the 104th edition of the Tour of Flanders taking place on Sunday, the Bikmo team bring you 5 facts for Flanders. Some say they are extremely random; we say that you won’t be able to resist slipping them into conversation this weekend.
1. The first edition was held in the same year that stainless steel was invented
With many riders opting for a more traditional wheel build for the cobbled sections, rather than a less forgiving all-carbon setup, stainless steel spokes are the spoke of choice. Allowing for both a strong and comfortable build, we’re sure the riders are very grateful for Harry Brearley’s 1913 invention.
2. The closest ever winning margin is 7mm
The 1994 race came down to a four-up sprint, with Johan Museeuw and Gianni Bugno lunging for the line. After 268km and 6 hrs 45 minutes of racing, only 7mm separated the two, making it the smallest winning margin in Tour of Flanders history. 7mm is the depth of a brake block.
3. The average team car increases its value by almost 5 times
As with any race, the amount of bikes, spares, kit, sticky bottles and food required, means there’s not much room left for the driver. Taking the average value of a well specced family estate, its value can easily increase fivefold once fully loaded. Trust us on this, we did the maths so that you don’t have to!
4. A rider’s calorie intake is equivalent to eating 13 Sunday roasts
With riders averaging nearly 7 hours in the saddle, their bodies require a huge amount of fuel to get them through the day. If their pockets and bidons were filled with 600 calories of meat, two veg, roasties and gravy, they’d have to refill 12 times.
5. The race distance is equal to riding from Chester – Newcastle
Although the race starts in Antwerp, with the finish line only 50 miles away in Oudenaarde, the course snakes its way around Northern Belgium like a discarded piece of string. It’s ideal for spectators, allowing for easy roadside viewing at multiple locations but, at 162 miles, the distance actually covers the equivalent of almost a third of the length of England.