The race-course that will be imposed on the Men’s Elite on 25 March 2018 has not changed significantly. “Only the start-up was slightly changed. The last approximate 160 kilometres of the route, including, amongst others, the passage in De Moeren, the route in France and the passage through the Heuvelland, remain unchanged, “says Hans De Clercq, the person responsible for mapping out the itinerary.
The selection by Velon of Ghent-Wevelgem, being regarded as one of the six most beautiful contests of 2017, proves that the sporting interventions have been successful. Ghent-Wevelgem was presented as one of three one-day contests, in addition to Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix. Velon is the professional organization that has a large number of WorldTour teams as its members.
After the successful introduction of the Plugstreets last year, the semi-paved strips will also be imposed on the U23 Cyclists Showing Promise and the Ladies Elite in 2018.
Hans De Clercq: “Last year, the Plugstreets contributed sportively just as we hoped for. After the first climb of the Kemmelberg, the contests did not cease. But above all: never before have we succeeded in bringing the First World War to the fore as strongly as during the contest. Ghent-Wevelgem introduced the ‘in Flanders Fields’ baseline worldwide with real goosebumps moments”.
Ghent-Wevelgem has consulted the female cyclists regarding the passage of the Ladies Elite over the Plugstreets. For example, Ann-Sophie Duyck and Lieselot Decroix have explored the Plugstreets and along with the Race Director and ex-cyclist Patsy Maegerman, they approved it unanimously and whole-heartedly.
The Westhoek will be the epicentre of cycling sport in Flanders on 25 March. Because, once again, Ghent-Wevelgem will entertain no less than 7 contests in one day: WorldTour Men and Women’s Elite, Nations Cup in the U23 Men’s Cyclists Showing Promise and in the U19 Juniors Women and Men, the Cup of Belgium in the Novices Boys and Novices Girls.
After the very successful experience in 2016, the start of the Ladies Elite will relocate to Ypres once again. Departure on the Grote Markt, in the shadow of the epic Lakenhallen, will give the WorldTour contest extra character. The arrival is foreseen at approximately 14h20 in the Via Vanackere in Wevelgem.
Under the direction of the Royal Cycling Club of Ypres, the contests Ghent-Wevelgem Kattekoers Ieper (Ghent-Wevelgem Cat Race Ypres) U23 and Ghent-Wevelgem GP André Noyelle U19 are familiar with their start and arrival in the City of Cats.
The Novices Men and Novices and Juniors Ladies will contest their Ghent-Wevelgem in and around Boezinge, which will become the centre of youth cycling. These contests are in very good hands with the Sasspurters of Boezinge as organizers.
It is already a fact that it will be a sporting festivity once again on 25 March 2018!