December 5, 2023

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Preview: Circuit Franco-Belgium 2023 – No Philipsen, De Lee is there

Preview: Circuit Franco-Belgium 2023 – No Philipsen, De Lee is there

Janie Waldrop
Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 12:15 pm

The Franco-Belgium Circuit is on the list in Belgium on Thursday. The organization provided a good field of participants, including Arnaud de Lee, Casper Asgren, Biniyam Girmay, Victor Campenaerts, and Dylan Teunis. A team sprint, a small group race or a solo winner, anything is possible. Cycling Looking forward!


1924 is the year in which the Franco-Belgium Circuit was organized for the first time. In its early years, the race was known as a Belgian-French affair, because national borders were often crossed. At that time it was also a multi-day competition, which – as you know – no longer exists today.

During the Second World War it was not possible to hold the Franco-Belgium circuit. Even after the end of World War II, the competition was not organized for a while. Partly for this reason, we are “only” ready for the 81st edition this year.

We don’t really see any big names in the first decades. We must mention that Julian Vervaeke, Cyril Van Overbergh and Alphonse Ghesquière managed to win twice, which is the highest number of victories so far. They now share this record with the riders. Swiss Benno Weiss and fast Australian Robbie McEwen.

Groenewegen and Nissen – Photo: Cor Vos

McEwen heralded a new era of the Franco-Belgian circuit. After the turn of the century, flatter stages were chosen for stage racing. But the real big change only came in 2016, when the organization chose to switch to a one-day race. That edition immediately caused fireworks. Dylan Groenewegen beat Oliver Niessen, but the Dutchman deviated badly from his line. “I already thought he was retarded, but now it’s just downright depressing,” Naesen said afterward. Sporza.

We haven’t mentioned it yet, but the Franco-Belge Circuit has been replaced as a name for a long time. From 2012 to 2021 it was the Eurométropole Tour.

The last ten winners of the Franco-Belgium circuit
2022: Flag no Alexander Kristoff
2021: flag nl Fabio Jacobsen
2020: It was not held due to the Corona crisis
2019: Science is Eliegert House
2018: flag-dk Mads Pedersen
2017: flag-gb Daniel Maclay
2016: flag nl Dylan Groenewegen
2015: Science Fr Alexis Jugard
2014: Science Fr Arnaud Demar
2013: Science is Jens Debuscher

Latest edition

Timo de Jong, Tim Napperman, Tom Sexton and Echo Bastian colored the first hours of the match, but in the end the four escapees did not play a significant role in the final. Due to the tight pace in that final, several runners had to step aside. The race then exploded on Four à Chaux, where Victor Campenaerts crossed into Loïc Vliegen and Filippo Baroncini, who rode in front of the peloton.

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However, the trio did not stay at the top of the race for long. Everything came together again and a small peloton entered the final lap. A new group of three moved away from there. This time Alexander Kristoff, Dries van Gestel and Jasper de Buest were the attacking riders. On the steep Bois de Breucq descent, they were joined by Campenaerts, who once again managed to drive to the front of the race with a strong attack.

Photo: Cor Foss

The Belgian was clearly feeling great, as he climbed above the trio. Van Gestel manages to join him, and Christophe cracks. It cracked, but not broken, because the Norwegian was able to join it again. The same goes for De Buist, who benefited from a moment of silence. This allowed the four leaders to run for the win. Campenaerts attempted a late surge, but Christophe closed the gap and nailed the dying Swans’ surge. Van Gestel and Campenaerts were allowed to take the podium.

Circuit Franco-Belgium 2022 result
1. Flag no Alexander Kristoff (Intermarche-Wanti-Joubert)
2. Science is Dries van Gestel (TotalEnergies) in St
3. Science is Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) in bt
4. Science is Jasper de Buist (Lotto Soudal) at 13 seconds
5. Mark it Alberto Dainese (DSM Team) at 15 seconds


The Circuit Franco-Belgium circuit has been modified again this year. First of all, the cycle has become longer. While we covered 175 km last year, it is now 190 km. The beginning will be again in Tournai, but the end will not be in La Louviere. This year it is located in Mont-de-l’Enclus, a village not far from Ronse.

After the start in Tournai, the riders head north; Colonel Croix Jobaro (1.5 km at 5.2%) will appear. This slope is an ideal place for an early flight. The peloton then heads towards the local round via Molenbaix, Siles and Escanavelles.

After the first pass at the finish line, riders will complete an alternate local loop, after which they will cross the finish line for a second time 80 kilometers later. Then the real work begins and they begin the local circuit, which they have to complete six times.

Central to that tour is Côte du Trieu (1.2 km, 7.4%) and Côte de l’Horletain (1 km, 5.9%). These slopes are ideal for birdshot shooting and are sure to count the many repetitions in the end. The top of the final climb is more than 10 kilometers from the finish. Although the last kilometer is still very steep.

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Thursday 28 September: Tournai – Mont de Lanclos (190.6 km)
Begins: 1:10 pm
He finishes: Between 5:20 pm and 5:45 pm


The Franco-Belge Circuit organization has provided a nice list of participants, at least if we can believe the initial version. My top favorite is without a doubt Arnaud de LeeWho proved to be at the top of his game last Sunday. Lotto Dstny’s Belgian made a good impression at the European Championships by producing a particularly impressive lead in support of Wout van Aert. De Lie will have a training session tailored to his needs on Thursday.

De Lie also has the luxury of being able to finish it in a variety of ways. Sure, waiting to sprint is an option, but racing hard is also an option. In addition, Lotto Dstny has several riders who can choose to attack. So are slobs Victor Kampenerts, Florian VermeerschMaxim van Gils and Alec Sijart start. Impressive selection.

Following his lead, De Lie finished fourth on the VAM mountain – Photo: Cor Vos

In Soudal Quick-Step they can also rely on more than one leader. He looks like an advanced man Casper Asgren He is. Based on his class alone, the Dane will certainly be in contention for the win, but Asgren’s form remains to be seen. Yes, he recently won a stage at the Tour of Slovakia, but the field of participants wasn’t very impressive there either. In addition to Asgren, we are also looking at Yves Lampaert, Florian Senechal and Stan van Tricht in the Belgian squad.

However, with so many strong Classics riders at the start and a lack of world-class sprinters, it seems unlikely that there will be a sprint. Someone like Brian Coquard seems to have a hard time, but his teammate Axel Zengel no. He gets a kick out of these type of matches. Zingle, who rides for the French team Cofidis, has won similar races in the past. That’s because he can handle a tough day and has fast legs.

Will we see Asgreen laughing on stage on Thursday? – Photo: Cor Vos

Mike Tonessen He’s someone to watch on Thursday. The Dutchman proved he is in good form at the European Championship by going deep in the final and supporting Olaf Koeg. Teunissen also recently won a stage in the Renewi Tour because of his good legs, but especially because of his vision of the race. Intermarché-Circus-Wanty still has contenders for victory, because Biniyam Girmay and Georg Zimmermann will also participate.

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It looks like Jasper Stuyven is claiming leadership at Lidl-Trek. The Belgian also had a good European Championship (and World Cup), but had bad luck in other one-day races. Is everything going well for the residents of Lidl-Trek in Leuven? We also expect a lot from the strong Norwegian Rasmus Teller And his colleague and compatriot Tobias Haaland Johannesen. Both riders have been in excellent form all season and Tiller in particular can be very difficult on this course at times.

Will Jasper Philipsen push for his 15th win of the season on Thursday? – Photo: Cor Vos

Alpecin-Deceuninck was actually going to start here with Mathieu van der Poel, but the world champion decided to end his campaign on the road after last Sunday’s Olympic MTB test event in Paris. His replacement next Thursday? Jasper Philipsen. The powerful runner is definitely one of the favorites to win. His level is still good, despite the difficult season. Last Sunday, Philipsen, who could still become the victor in 2023, was the favorite in Paris Shawnee.

The last team we should mention is Israel-Premier Tech. Four names stand out in the selection: Dylan Tunes, Corbin StrongChristis Nylands and Jens Reynders. We particularly take into account Teuns, who rode to third place in the Queen’s Stage of the Tour of Luxembourg. In mid-September he also finished second in the GP de Wallonie behind Gonzalo Serrano. If Tunis can continue his form, he will not be far from victory.

Update: Dylan Teuns is not part of Israel-Premier Tech’s final selection.

Theunissen beats fellow runaways in the Renewe Tour – Photo: Cor Vos

There are also a lot of strangers. We mention a number of riders: Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Deseuinink), Amaury Cabello (Arkia-Samsic), Benjamin Jermay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Brian Coquard (Cofidis), retired Greg van Avermaet, Olivier Nyssen, Marc Sarrio (AG2R Citroën), Edouard Theunis (Lidl-Trek), Anthony Turges, Dries van Gestel and Sandy Dujardin (Total Energies).

Favorites according to WielerFlits
****Arnaud de Lee
*** Jasper PhilipsenCorbin Strong
** Rasmus Teller, Mike Teunissen, Kasper Asgren
* Victor Kampenaerts, Axel Zengel, Florian Vermeersch, Biniyam Girmay

Site organization
List of participants (ProCyclingStats)

Weather and TV

Riders should not take rain into account on Thursday. The probability of precipitation, according to Weeronline, is 0%. There is no rain, but wind. Beaufort is expected to be 4, something that could definitely have an impact on the price trajectory. Temperatures will range around 20 degrees Celsius.

The Franco Belge Circuit can be watched live on Eurosport 1. The broadcast does not start until 4.45pm. If you want to watch early, you can visit the online channels from 3:15 p.m. For more information, you can always visit our Cycling on TV TV guide.