Which Strava KOMs will fall in the Tour of Flanders?

This series looking at Strava leaderboards now turns to the action in Belgium, where the spring classics season is under way. Greg Van Avermaet, Philipe Gilbert, Michal Kwiatkowski and Peter Sagan are among the riders in top form ahead of the Tour of Flanders, not forgetting former winners Tom Boonen, Alexander Kristoff and Stijn Devolder. This year’s race includes 18 climbs, finishing with a loop that takes in six famous ascents in the last 50km. Will the pros to be setting KOMs on these Hellingens?
Making the top 10 on any leaderboard, towards the end of a 260km race, sounds like a tall order. KOMs are more likely to fall on longer faster climbs where riders can benefit from drafting in a group. In fact the riders will be climbing the Oude-Kwaremont three times and the Paterberg twice, so the top times are more at risk on those two, if someone decides to make a strong attack. The weather forecast is good: sunny, about 16°C, with a light breeze from the WNW. The wind will be against the riders on the Taaienberg, but it will provide a small benefit on the other final hills, which happen to be ridden in directions between East and South.

Koppenberg

Surface: Cobbles, Distance: 444m, Avg Grade: 14.3%, Elevation Gain: 64m, Bearing: 104°

Rank Name Time Date Race
1 Reinardt Janse van Rensburg 00:01:27 19-Feb-14
2 Joris Van Der Auwera 00:01:28 01-Jan-10
2 gijsade holstege 00:01:28 01-Jan-10
2 Dries Devenyns 00:01:28 27-Nov-15
5 Cameron Bayly 00:01:30 06-Sep-15
6 Dylan Kennett 00:01:32 26-Jun-15
7 FOCUS Rides 00:01:34 01-Jan-10
7 Korneel De Viaene 00:01:34 06-Aug-15
7 Arjen Palstra 00:01:34 02-Apr-16
7 Korneel De Viaene 00:01:34 06-Aug-15

Pro rider van Rensburg holds the KOM up the Koppenberg, set on a pre-race recce. Dries Devenyns is not far behind, but none of the top ten times appear to have been set in races. Although there will be a weak tailwind, it seems unlikely that a new record will be set in this year’s Tour of Flanders.

Steenbeekdries

Surface: Cobbles, Distance: 724m, Avg Grade: 2.8%, Elevation Gain: 24m, Bearing: 121°

Rank Name Time Date Race
1 Niki Terpstra Racing 00:01:22 01-Apr-15
2 Jasper Stuyven 00:01:25 06-Apr-13 Flanders U23
2 Lawson Craddock 00:01:25 06-Apr-13 Flanders U23
4 Michal Kwiatkowski 00:01:26 01-Apr-16
5 Jered Gruber 00:01:27 06-Apr-12
5 Walter Eikelenboom 00:01:27 04-Aug-15
7 Pierre-Henri LECUISINIER 00:01:28 06-Apr-13 Flanders U23
7 Marcus Burghardt 00:01:28 02-Apr-15 Three Days of De Panne
9 Michael Schär 00:01:29 02-Apr-15 Three Days of De Panne
10 Stijn Steels 00:01:30 29-Mar-17

Two riders made the top ten in the 2015 edition of the Three Days of De Panne and three others in the Flanders Under 23 race in 2013. We can also see quick times in recce rides by Terpstra in 2015, Kwiatkowski, last year, and Steels this week. There’s a chance this KOM could go on Sunday.

Taaienberg

Surface: Cobbles, Distance: 639m, Avg Grade: 7.8%, Elevation Gain: 46m, Bearing: 262°

Rank Name Time Date Race
1 Daniel Oss 00:01:12 25-Mar-16 E3 Harelbeke
2 Jasper Stuyven 00:01:13 25-Feb-17 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
3 AlliGator Junior 00:01:14 06-Mar-13
3 Edward Theuns 00:01:14 25-Feb-17 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
3 Greg Van Avermaet 00:01:14 24-Mar-17 E3 Harelbeke
6 Wesley Van Dyck 2090874575184 00:01:15 28-Mar-17 Three Days of De Panne
7 Arnaud Demare 00:01:16 22-Mar-17 Dwars door Vlaanderen
7 Johnny Cecotto 00:01:16 22-Mar-17 Dwars door Vlaanderen
9 Jarl . 00:01:17 18-Mar-14
9 Bryan Coquard 00:01:17 24-Mar-17 E3 Harelbeke

This is another segment that is dominated by the pros and tends to be smashed in races.  The problem is that there will be a slight headwind, so this KOM will probably hold on Sunday.

Kruisberg (Oudestraat)

Surface: Asphalt, Distance: 1813m, Avg Grade: 4.9%, Elevation Gain: 89m, Bearing: 142°

Rank Name Time Date Race
1 Daniel Lloyd 00:04:03 03-Apr-11 Tour of Flanders
2 Cor ~~ 00:04:05 03-Apr-11 Tour of Flanders
3 davide COM 00:04:06 03-Apr-11 Tour of Flanders
4 Jeremy Cameron Ⓥ 00:04:24 29-Jun-16
5 Pascal Eenkhoorn 00:05:00 13-Mar-16
6 Pieterjan Spyns 00:05:02 06-Jul-15
7 dylan de kok 00:05:03 21-Feb-14
8 Eloy Raas 00:05:04 21-Feb-14
9 Lenard Maes 00:05:06 21-Jul-15
10 kobe vdv 00:05:09 30-Mar-17

The KOM is held by GCN‘s Daniel Lloyd, set in the Tour of Flanders in 2011, in very similar weather conditions. The three leading times stand a long way ahead of the rest. It will be very interesting to see how the current pros perform on this climb. Daniel’s time could be at risk.

Oude-Kwaremont

Surface: Cobbles, Distance: 2509m, Avg Grade: 3.6%, Elevation Gain: 91m, Bearing: 163°

Rank Name Time Date Race
1 Niki Terpstra Racing 00:04:55 25-Mar-16 E3 Harelbeke
2 Daniel Oss 00:04:58 25-Mar-16 E3 Harelbeke
3 Tiesj Benoot 00:04:59 25-Mar-16 E3 Harelbeke
4 Nikolas Maes 00:05:01 23-Mar-16 Dwars door Vlaanderen
5 Michal Kwiatkowski 00:05:02 25-Mar-16 E3 Harelbeke
6 Scott Thwaites 00:05:04 23-Mar-16 Dwars door Vlaanderen
7 Greg Van Avermaet 00:05:06 28-Feb-16 Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne
8 Oliver Naesen 00:05:07 24-Mar-17 E3 Harelbeke
9 Stijn Vandenbergh Racing 00:05:08 28-Mar-14 E3 Harelbeke
10 Antoine Duchesne 00:05:10 28-Feb-16 Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne

The leaderboard of segment is packed with pro racing performances, led once again by Niki Terpstra. With the last ascent coming at a crucial time in this year’s Tour of Flanders, the KOM could fall again.

Paterberg

Surface: Cobbles, Distance: 358m, Avg Grade: 11.7%, Elevation Gain: 42m, Bearing: 96°

Rank Name Time Date Race
1 Eli Iserbyt 00:00:53 27-Jul-16
2 Dries Devenyns 00:00:54 19-Feb-14
2 mathias Declerck 00:00:54 01-Sep-16
4 Jarl . 00:00:55 23-Mar-14
5 Pascal Eenkhoorn 00:00:56 04-May-16
6 Joeri Calleeuw 00:00:57 24-Feb-14
6 Frederik Vandewiele 00:00:57 19-Mar-14
6 Antoine Loy 00:00:57 18-Jun-14
6 Aaron Midgley 00:00:57 20-Aug-14
6 Merten De Wever 00:00:57 06-May-15

This short, steep climb seems to be the target of specific KOM hunters. None of the top ten times were set in the big races. Although this will be the final place to attack in this year’s race, the riders will be fatigued by 247km of tough roads. The top time is likely to hold firm, especially if barriers are used to block smoother edges of the road.

Conclusion

KOMs to hold: Paterberg, Koppenberg, Taaienberg

KOMs at risk: Kruisberg, Oude-Kwaremont, Steenbeekdries

Watch out Dan!

Author: science4performance

I am passionate about applying the scientific method to improve performance

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