Trek Travel’s #14 Greatest Ride In The World
Every spring since 1913, as the temperatures rise, cycle racing returns to Belgium for De Ronde. De Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) is the largest Pro and amateur cycling race weekend in Belgium.
Discover this ride on our Spring Classics trip.
Being one of the five major cycle racing monuments, and one of the two cobbled classics, De Ronde weekend is special for those in Flanders, and rooted deeply in Flemish Nationalism.
Being one of the five major cycle racing monuments, and one of the two cobbled classics, De Ronde weekend is special for those in Flanders, and rooted deeply in Flemish Nationalism. Since the races conception, its purpose was to cross as many cities as possibe to unit the people for Flemish Liberation. Today it has not only united the region, but it unites people from all over the world. The day preceeding the Pro race is the “We Ride Flanders Cycling Sportive.” Due to its global popularity, registration is capped at 16,000 participants. Racers have the opportunity to ride and race on a similar course as the Pro’s, but being able to choose between courses of 74, 142, 177 and 235 km. Today we will ride the Sportive, enjoying 74km of the Flemish countryside, traversing the narrow roads and punching bergs of the WorldTour.
“Absolutely epic. Nothing better than spring in Belgium, riding cobbles, winning races, creating memories. This is what life is all about.”
-Michael, Trek Travel Guest
Three Things You Need to Know
From the weather to the challenging terrain, it is ideal to have a good riding setup. We recommend using 28c tubeless tires, a compact riding setup for the punchy climbs, and shoes that you can walk in should the need arise. Having handlebars that have extra padding or have been double wrapped go along way for the hands. Using water bottle cages, like Trek’s bat cage, will ensure your bottles stay in place. And riding a bike like Trek’s Domane, with its Isospeed Tech will ensure your body does not get beat up by the cobbles.
The temperatures in Belgium from late March to early April average in the low’s around 5 °C to the highs between 13 – 18 °C. The amount of rain in March to April is normal with an average of 31mm. The locals considered this a chilly month. Due to the variance in weather and tempartures, it is best to be prepared for anything during the Sprotive. Bring layers, warmers, shoe covers, riding gloves, and rain gear. It is better to have gear not need it, rather then needing it and not having it.
The We Ride Flanders RVV Cyclo Sportive does a great job offering support for its participants, from food to bike mechanics. However, imagine trying to support 16,000 of your best friends. Either knowing specifically where to get food and fuel is key. Or carrying enough food with you for the day is ideal. One advantage of going with Trek Travel, is that we will take care of all these things for you. We have our own private feed zones set up along the course, and should you have a mechanical, we can fix it for you. Also, you can drop off a change of clothes should the weather change from the start to the finish of the race.
The sprotive courses have four options, 74, 142, 177 and 235 km.The only course that does not start in Oudenaarde, is the longer option (235km). The longer course mirrors the pro race. The shorter courses do loops from Oudenaarde, and we find that for most people, the shorter courses offer more then enough cycling excitement in the Flanders region.
Our favorite location to base ourselves for the We Ride Flanders Cyclo Sportive is Bruges. This is a roughly a one hour shuttle to Oudenaarde. Bruges offers us a unique base, with great cycling to warm up our legs, fantastic hotels, and lovely city to explore and rest between the rides. Also, Bruges is easy to get to from anywhere in Belgium.
The Belgians offer cyclists many delights, chocolate, waffles, and frites to name a few. But one of the best aspects of being in Belgium is the amazing beer. In Bruges, there are fantastic establishments to try and enjoy new and old beer favorites. There is the Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan where one can do a tour and taste some of the nectar of the gods. While, just over an hour from Bruges is the world reknowned Saint-Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren. Sint Sixtus is one of the most sought after beers in the world. Partially because most consider Westvleteren 12 to be the world’s finest beer. Secondly, you can only get the beer from the monks at the Abbey. It is well worth a trip to Westvleteren. And if you travel with us, not only will you venture to Westvleteren, but we will cycle some of the famous cobbled roads nearby, then sit back and enjoy the worlds finest beer at Saint-Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren.
Discover this ride on our Spring Classics trip.