Removing the Muur and Bosberg from the Tour of Flanders is like removing the Arenberg Forest and the Carrefour de l'Arbre from Paris Roubaix. Are the organizers nuts??? I think so and I will tell you why.
“If you had changed the route 30 years ago it would maybe not have been big news, but now the race is international – it’s shown on TV all over the world and everybody in cycling is always talking about it.” - Van Petegem
When the organizers decided to move the route they had to realize that protests (in Dutch, which I cannot speak a word of) would ensue. People are too passionate about our sport in this region to not freak out.
There have been accusations of mayors writing letters to their aldermen telling them not to go, and the residents of Geraardsbergen are even contemplating a protest on the Oude Kwaremont. Gotta love the passion of these folks.
Obviously, no route change = no protests and no problems. The organizers are getting what they asked for with the possible protests and bad publicity. That being said I also I believe that it would be ridiculous and a shame if the protests became violent or impacted the race adversely.
The only thing that will help stem the protests will be an awesome race on Sunday. God help them if the race sucks.
This is not really a reason but more of an exasperation.
Someone actually sent the Mayor of Oudenaarde a threatening letter suggesting that tacks will be thrown onto the route.
I agree with @SSBike in his tweet "they are not fans"
While I may think the route should revert back to a previous state, lets be real here. It is a race we love and want to see happen at its highest possible level. If some mook decides to ruin the race by doing something this stupid, they should be drug up and down the Muur and Bosberg until their skin is ripped from their bones. That is all.
So here is the logic. Not all of these are on the old course but they are close in proximity to the old finishing route. Therefore they probably had some economic impact given to them from the old race and the amateur event. Now that income or spending money is gone.
In my purely fan based opinion, viewing the race from any location along the road should be a free (no cost) affair. I believe that keeping the race in a point to point format reduces the opportunity for race directors to create sections blocked off from the average fan. Keeping the Muur and Bosberg forces the course to remain spread out and thus helps prevent the creation of a lot of VIP sections along the course.
"The Tour of Flanders could lead the path to a new business model, in
which the money earned and spent will be different from the way it is now."
Reason 21: Reduced role during the classics season.
The fact that the following statement was issued by the Omega Pharma Quick Step Team's twitter stream during the GPE3 Harelbeke and will not be able to be contradicted during the Tour of Flanders stinks.
Makes me sad that the Muur will not be given a greater role at a later time.
Reason 20: The "New Logic" in route planning has some scary implications.
"If the new route is succesful, the Ronde could set an example for all one
day classics. To race from A to B doesn't have much longevity no more" -The director of Flanders Classics, Wouter Vandenhaute
If the quote above does not literally scare the living shit out of you then I do not know what will.
I mount my soapbox now. Check out the similarity in look and feel between Amstel and Flanders below. Kind of wild. Amstel really has no choice to organize the race as they do, because they race in an area the size of a postage stamp. But for other classics to adopt an "up the same climb multiple times" philosophy, I believe, puts in jeopardy what so many of us love about point to point racing. That being the varied nature of the route and the inability to know exactly what is coming next under racing conditions. When riders race up the same climb multiple times in the same race they become accustomed to it and understand it better and therefore the course becomes less a factor than the condition of the rider. Some may argue that the point is indeed to find the best or strongest rider, so who cares where they race in Flanders, just as long as it is still held in Flanders and we maximize fan interaction. However I disagree to some degree here. What makes a Spring Classic great is the ability for the rider to conquer not only the other riders, but also conquer a course that engages the geography to the maximum, fans be damned. Consider this absurd comparison to the Tour de France. Why not race the same circuit race in Bordeaux the first 7 days for the sprinters, up and down the Alpe du Huez 7 days in a row, and down the Champs for the final 7 days to finish it off. While that is an extreme exaggeration I feel it makes my point. The course does matter and to repeat yourself is to cheat the venue and reduce the uniqueness of the event which, like it or not, provides part of the romantic attraction of the sport we love.
In all honesty, I will definitely watch this year for sure, and root for Boonen, I will most likely gasp at the insanity of taking on the Paterberg 3 times but as I gasp I will most likely wonder what other 4 climbs could have been added instead of the 2 Oude Kwaremont's and 2 Paterberg's whether or not 2 of those others could have been the Bosberg and Muur.
"Why did they have to change it? The prestige of the race has changed. It’s just really hard. I don’t like it. Why do they have to change a race like Flanders? It’s like not having Roubaix finish in the velodrome — it’s just stupid."
That is descriptive but does not really resonate, actually kind of weak.
BUT in English...
Bos, pronounced as "Boss" sounds badass like "Boss Hill"
That is why us English speakers like it.
Its replacement the Paterberg means Father Hill but to us English it sounds like
Patsy Hill or Pansy Mountain. Weak.