Flanders Classics is looking forward to 2021 with hope and is currently working on the rollout of a brand new event. In collaboration with LtD Gravel Rides – founded by ex-professional cyclist Laurens ten Dam – they are working hard on creating the very first ‘Flanders Gravel’: a multiple day cycling event departing from Oudenaarde particularly suited for the gravel lover that will take place on 2, 3 and 4 July – if the health situation allows it. If not, the event will be moved to 16, 17 and 18 October.
Cycling has never been more popular in so many different ways. One of the most recent discoveries of the cycling tourist and cycling lover is the gravel bike: the bike that lets you combine the best of the road and the field during an adventurous ride. Flanders Classics and LtD Gravel Rides joined forces to establish a three-day gravel event in the cycling capital of the Flemish Ardennes: Oudenaarde.
If the health situation allows it, gravel enthousiasts will be able to get their fill on 2, 3 and 4 July. “We hope to see light at the end of the tunnel soon”, says Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel. “That’s why we are already enthusiastically working on this brand new event that focuses on the recreational cyclist. If all goes well we are hoping to welcome participants in Oudenaarde in July for a gravel ride of 80, 120 or 160 km.
Of course, the organization will closely monitor the covid-19 situation in the months to come, confirms Tomas Van Den Spiegel: “Alternative dates have been reserved to move the event to 16, 17 and 18 October if necessary. The aim is to safely enjoy a weekend in which the bike will undoubtedly take the center stage and to enjoy the vibe that is so typical of gravel rides.”
Bike and camping tent
The arrival of the course is located in the heart of the Flemish Ardennes in the shadow of the Koppenberg and the Oude Kwaremont. At this unique location situated right between these iconic hills a true Flanders Gravel finish festival is also currently planned, which of course will only take place if the health situation allows it. Participants will also have the opportunity to buy a weekend ticket, which will not only allow them to participate in the bike ride on Saturday, but will also allow them to set up their tent on the campsite at the finish site as early as Friday. There, fun extras await them upon arrival on Friday evening and as a finale on Sunday.
Co-organizer Laurens ten Dam, founder of LtD Gravel Rides big lover and self-appointed gravel ambassador, hopes to be able to enjoy this event in summer. “Gravel rides are not only cycling events that combine the best parts of road cycling and cyclo-cross, they are true total experiences. If the situation allows it, a challenging cycling journey awaits in the region where cycling is the most alive. After the trip I hope we will get to relax at the bonfire with a cool beer in our hand, some music on the background and all of that at a unique setting. Cycling and enjoyment, that’s what we’ve all been longing for for months now, isn’t it?”
For more information, go to www.flandersgravel.cc