Lionel Birnie heads to Flanders to witness the build-up to the Ronde Van Vlaanderen as cycling fever grips the region.

With three World Tour races in five days, the Classics specialists have plenty of opportunity to hone their form before the Tour of Flanders.

But what are these races like? Is it right to think of them as mere hors d’oeuvres before the main event?

Lionel likes to think he knows a fair bit about Flandrian cycling but how much of an expert is he really? For this five-part series, released each morning, he’s heading to Kortrijk and will be travelling by bike and staying on a boat. What can possibly go wrong?

Catch the whole series in one episode here.

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2016 Sign up to become a Friend of the Podcast for 2017 and you will be able to listen to 11 special episodes that Richard, Lionel and Daniel will record over the course of the season. Expect a mix of documentary-style shows, discussion, analysis and interviews about professional cycling. Sign up for 2017 now.