After Flanders Classics became part of the organisation of Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields in 2009, Flanders Classics will become the full owner of the race as of 2022. The historical shareholders choose to leave the spring classic in the hands of Flanders Classics with a view to the further development of the race.
The two historical driving forces of the organisation of Gent-Wevelgem, Luc Gheysens and Bernard Langedock, brought the race back to the highest level in recent decades. Griet and Lode Langedock, Lieven Gheysens and Hans De Clercq made the race into a highly valued World Tour race, for both men and women. Gent-Wevelgem also garnered a lot of respect in the cycling world by adding a number of international youth races.
By joining forces with Flanders Classics in 2009, the race was rescheduled to the Sunday before the Tour of Flanders and in 2012 Gent-Wevelgem was organised for women for the first time. With a course through Flanders Fields that breathes history, a move of the start to Ypres and 3 ascents of the Kemmelberg, together with the Moeren the sporty character of Gent-Wevelgem, they built the spring classic into a race with a unique story.
Now the historic shareholders of Gent-Wevelgem are stepping aside at a high point. As part of the further development of the races, they wish to leave Gent-Wevelgem in the hands of Flanders Classics.
"A lot has changed over the years, but we can look back at what we have accomplished with a lot of pride", says the Gent-Wevelgem organisation. "We have worked very well together with Flanders Classics in recent years and are confident that the quality of the organisation and the uniqueness of the race in and around Ypres and Wevelgem will also be preserved in the future."
That takeover does not mean, however, that the race will look completely different next spring. "Together we have been building the Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields brand for more than 10 years," says Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel. "We would therefore like to thank the organisers for the constructive cooperation and trust. This cooperation and its results have given Gent-Wevelgem a more than solid foundation that we will continue to value. Not only in terms of sport, but also storytelling, thanks to the history of Flanders Fields that lifts the race to an even higher level. We are looking forward to further promoting and representing one of the most unique races on the calendar internationally."
Gent-Wevelgem 2022 will take place on Sunday, March 27. Between Ypres and Wevelgem, Flanders Fields will be the setting for the search for the successors to Marianne Vos and Wout van Aert.