This summer, a brand-new gravel event is being added to the event calendar of the Flanders Classics organisation – renowned for organising the world-famous Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) spring classic road cycling race. In cooperation with LtD Gravel Rides – founded by former pro racer and gravel ambassador Laurens ten Dam – the inaugural “Flanders Gravel” event will be held on 2nd, 3rd and 4th of July (if global health situation allows) and will be based at the capital of De Ronde – the city of Oudenaarde.
Flanders Gravel is being held in the heartland of cycling, with a passionate cycling history of over a century. Gravel history will be made with Flanders Gravel opening up the gravel world to the iconic Koppenberg, Patersberg, Kluisberg and Oude Kwaremont cobbled climbs. It’s set to be a monumental gravel experience.
“We hope to see light at the end of the tunnel”, explains Flanders Classics’ CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel. “So, we have been working hard in the background to launch this event. If all is well we will welcome participants to Flanders in early July. We have also set up an alternative date of 16th to the 18th of October. Riders opting for the day ticket – the Saturday Troopers – will set off in the morning of the 2nd of July from the iconic downtown square in Oudenaarde to head out for their 80, 120 or 160 kilometers ride. Flanders Gravel focuses mainly on the recreational rider. We look forward to a weekend where the gravel bike will be the centre of attention combined with the relaxed and unique gravel ambiance. Topped off with routes that will bring the riders to undiscovered cobble stones, our famous bergs and unique gravel sections. If you successfully complete the Flanders Gravel event, you have truly earned yourself the title of Gravel Flandrien.”
The organisers of Flanders Gravel have put comprehensive Covid19 measures in place to allow us to safely run the event as scheduled on the weekend of 2nd-4th July. However, with the current global health situation changing regularly, it is prudent to have in place a back-up plan as well. For this reason, Flanders Gravel has set up an alternative date of 16-18th October and will work closely with the relevant authorities to monitor the situation and will provide updates to participants via the event website.
Flemish finish-line festival
The finish of the Flanders Gravel event is in middle of the Flemish Ardennes, in the shadow of the Koppenberg and Oude Kwaremont climbs, made famous by de Ronde. A characteristic homestead situated between these iconic hills will provide the stage for the Flanders Gravel finish line. We hope to have entertainment, DJs, live performances, a bike expo, catering, a campfire and most certainly the famous Belgian beers. Anyone who opts for the Weekend Warrior ticket can pitch their tent from Friday onwards in a designated area near the finish line. Additional special arrangements for the Weekend Warriors are planned on the Friday night and Sunday morning.
Co-organiser Laurens ten Dam, founder of LtD Gravel Rides, known for introducing the gravel culture to the Lowlands, is thrilled to be part of this Flanders Gravel event. “Gravel riding is getting more and more popular in Belgium. Working with Flanders Classics assures the riders of the best overall experience – the best of road and cyclocross history mixed with authentic gravel DNA. The Flanders Gravel event offers a challenging bike ride in a region that lives and breathes de Ronde. Hopefully health conditions will allow us to enjoy our iconic gravel ride in July. Afterwards we all can relax around the campfire with a beer in our hand, music in the background, talking about the great adventures we had during the ride. Gravel riding is enjoyment. Who can say no to that?”
More information and registration for the event: www.flandersgravel.cc
Source: Flanders Gravel