The name originally applied to the ancien régime territory called the County of Flanders, that existed from the 8th century (Latin Flandria) until its absorption by the French First Republic. Until the 1600s, this county also extended over parts of what are now France and the Netherlands.
The longest Tour of Flanders was its first running in 1913: 324 km (201 mi) The shortest Tour of Flanders was the war-time edition of 1941: 198 km (123 mi) The fastest edition was in 2001, won by Italian Gianluca Bortolami: 43.6 km/h (27.1 mph) average. The slowest edition was in 1923, won by Swiss Heiri Suter: 26.2 km/h (16.3 mph) average.
…and other southern domains to France, and Flanders was fatally weakened by the departure of his successor, Baldwin IX, to become Latin emperor of Constantinople (as Baldwin I) in 1205. The French king Philip II Augustus seized the chance to influence the succession in Flanders, and when the Flemings resisted…
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The two main rivers are the Schelde and the Meuse, both of which begin in France and flow toward the Netherlands. The land rises progressively toward the south. Flanders (northern part of the country) is less hilly than Wallonia (southern part). The German-speaking population lives at the borders with Germany and Luxembourg.