The Tour of Flanders sees the cycling world turn its collective eyes towards Belgium for a virtual pilgrimage to the 'hellingen' - the cobbles of the Flanders region - for the 105th edition of the men's monument, the 18th for the women. Australian viewers will be able to watch all the racing action on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand.
Van den Broek-Blaak powered her way to victory after a determined solo attack inside the final 20km of the 2020 race and is back to do it all again this year.
The 31-year-old will once again be joined by Dutch compatriot Anna van der Breggan to form a superstar one-two punch for team SD-Worx.
While Van den Broek-Blaak admitted her primary focus was on the Paris-Roubaix this season, the decision to postpone that race until October has given her the opportunity to put all her efforts into an event she says is one of her favourites.
“Tour of Flanders is always a special race, and it's my favourite race of the year. I've been on the podium a few times, but the pressure is off because I won it last year," Van den Broek-Blaak said in an interview with Cyclingnews.
"Of course, I want to do good at Flanders but I was actually preparing for Paris-Roubaix.
"I always want to give my best in Flanders because it's my kind of roads.”
The 152-kilometre route for the women's race will feature 13 Hellingen, including the combination of Kruisberg-Hotond, and the final two climbs over the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, before the run-in to Oudenaarde.
Van den Broek-Blaak, who last month collected her first win of the season at Strade Bianche Donne, said patience is important at De Ronde with timing everything for the race contenders.
“It's not really a race where you can predict where to attack at the right moment, but it always happens in the final," she said.
"It's important to make the race hard but to get to the final as fresh as possible. The fresher you are for the final, the more you can gamble."