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Flanders Classics expands with control of Superprestige cyclocross

Joe Robinson
30 May 2018

Dominant force in Belgian racing set to expand onto the mud

Organisers of the Tour of Flanders, Flanders Classics, is set to take over the premium cyclocross series of the Superprestige from 2019, bringing the biggest cycling races in Belgium across both disciplines under one company.

Announced today, Flanders Classics will assume control of the eight-race series that takes place in Belgium and the Netherlands, and includes the infamous Zonhoven circuit. 

This will help Flanders Classics take the next step in its push to become one of premier cycling race organisers alongisde the likes of ASO (Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix) and RCS (Giro d'Italia).

Currently, the Flanders Classics runs Omloop Het Nieuwblad, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem, Schelderijs, De Brabantse Pijl and, of course, its marquee race the Tour of Flanders.

However the absorption of these eight key cyclocross races could be more cause for concern for others.

One of the few Belgian Classics not under the control of Flanders Classics, the locally organised Three Days of De Panne, felt the squeeze of the race organising giant this year. 

Flanders Classics succesfully moved Dwars Door Vlaanderen to the week of the Tour of Flanders, a date traditionally held by the Three Days of De Panne.

This move, and the fact Dwars is now a WorldTour race, left De Panne with no choice but to reduce the multi-stage race into a one-day format. 

No doubt, concerns will be felt by similar cyclocross organisers across Belgium with this latest move.

Regardless, Flanders Classics's Wouter Vandenhaute was in full praise of this latest move and mentioned the growing blend between road and cross.

'We are proud that the Superprestige now sail under the same flag as the Tour of Flanders,' Vandenhaute said. 'Road racing and cyclocross have a rich history in Flanders and we are now trying to bring this piece of history together.

'The cyclocross and the road season blend seamlessly with one another, as Wout Van Aert emphasised this spring with his strong performance in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad,' added Vandenhaute.

'Flanders Classics is pleased to receive the confidence from Etienne Gevaert and his team to further expand cyclocross.'

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