"Stop the madness"

Along the route of Sunday's Tour of Flanders cycling race angry farmers are protesting against a number of new environment regulations. The farmers believe that the new rules will push up their costs, while the prices that they receive for their produce remain too low.

The Farmers' Union argues that for many farmers farming is no longer viable.

Angry farmers lined the route of the Tour in Oostkamp, Kortrijk and Oudenaarde. They are flying black flags and have brought along scarecrows as well as banners with slogans including: "Stop the madness", "Farmer seeks future" and "Green boycott destroys farmers".

Farmers earlier protested during several other cycling classics. The Farmers' Union argues that it's no surprise that the Tour wends its way through fields and meadows that have been shaped by Flemish farmers.