Greg van Avermaet stormed clear to win the Virtual Tour of Flanders, as the Belgian former Olympic Champion dominated his rivals from his home trainer. Oliver Naesen finished second ahead of Nicholas Roche in third.
The race was hosted by BKool, a platform which offers users the chance to ride famous routes, and was broadcast live on Eurosport. Cameras showed Van Avermaet powering away on his home trainer while his CGI character streamed clear of the competition, which included a dozen other professionals in total.
The virtual edition covered only the final 32km of the course, including the final two climbs over Oude-Kwaremont and Paterberg, compared to 266km in the real race. Home trainers attempted to replicate the demands of cobbled sections of what is one of the five Monuments of cycling’s one-day calendar.
The result does not count officially, but with the Tour de France expected to be postponed or possibly cancelled in line with much of the race schedule due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it might be the closest cycling gets to serious competition for some time.