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Cobbles, hills and Belgian beer – famous road bike routes in Flanders

Road Cycling Collection by VISITFLANDERS

The northern part of Belgium has always been a paradise for leisure cyclists and keen roadies alike. In addition to idyllic landscapes, historic towns, a varied coastline and good infrastructure, Flanders has special advantage: cycling is a popular sport in the region that can be likened to football fever elsewhere. As this is reason enough to dedicate an entire Collection to this cycling crazed region, we've put together eight routes for you that will bring you closer to the most legendary, toughest, but also the most beautiful parts of the Flemish Region.

Numerous cycle races take place in Flanders throughout the year and attract a large fan community to the tracks or glued to their TV screens. In particular, the so-called "spring classics", especially the Tour of Flanders, are an annual highlight that attract masses of fans to the supporter cafés. Here, you can hear the excitement, comment and debate – all accompanied, of course, by one or two typical Belgian beers. Over the years, the cycling crazed region has produced numerous cycling heroes or Flandriens: from Eddy Merckx and Johan Museeuw to Tom Boonen. That's why we've collected some cool highlights in this Collection, from the Eddy Merckx memorial to the cult Radcafé – not forgetting plenty of beer stops along the way.

In addition to professional races, there are also regular races for everyone or you can simply follow these classic cycling routes away from these dates to avoid the crowds. In this Collection, you will find three routes which guide you through the Flanders Round Trip or Ronde in the footsteps of the Flandriens.

This short video will give you a taste of what Flanders has to offer:

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Intermediate
    04:24
    50.3 mi
    11.4 mph
    2,500 ft
    2,500 ft
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The original route of the Tour of Flanders, which counts as the most important race in Belgium, measures around 270 kilometers. That may be a bit too much for a reasonably enjoyable weekend tour and that's why we've divided the round into three beautiful individual tours.The "Blue Ribbon" of the Tour of Flanders is only a small part of the distance covered during the legendary cycling race, but it still has it in it. Three of the classic climbs lie on this route: the Oude Kwaremont, the Koppenberg and the Taaienberg.78.4 kilometers from the start at the cycling museum "Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen" you will ride over cobbled streets and dizzying ascents in the footsteps of Flanders through East Flanders. At the end of the tour you definitely have a really good impression of the legendary tour. And while you enjoy a cold beer in one of the cozy pubs of Oudenaarde, you can calmly philosophize about how the pros might go after the whole round.

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    Difficult
    05:59
    71.8 mi
    12.0 mph
    4,200 ft
    4,175 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly well-paved surfaces and easy to ride.

    17 climbs (climbs) to master for the professionals on the Tour of Flanders. But no one is as legendary as the notorious Muur of Geraardsbergen, or Muur for short. It is the absolute highlight of the tour at about half distance, but the foreplay and afterplay will delight your burning calves. After all, classics like Foreest, Berendries, Bosberg and Eikenberg have to be driven - at least when you're in Flanders.And at the end of the tour you can not only look forward to an interesting zigzag profile in your training diary, but also to a fresh Belgian beer in one of the cozy pubs in Oudenaarde.

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  • Difficult
    05:55
    64.9 mi
    11.0 mph
    2,350 ft
    2,325 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The Flanders Tour is considered one of the monuments of cycling and has a long tradition - it was first held in 1913. The elimination race is notorious: countless nasty climbs, wind and rain are taking their toll here year after year. And there is something else in countless variations that does not make life much easier for racers: lots of cobblestone passages are a headache for many a pro in the truest sense of the word.On our "yellow loop" we have put together some particularly fine vibrating passages for you: Wannegem-Lede, the Volkemberg and of course the famous Paddestraat - there you stick to the handlebars. Then this loop is also a real road bike treat and a great introductory program for this land that has spawned so many legends.What's waiting for you in the end, we need not mention, right? If you do, you might want to pre-button the red and the blue bow again. In this sense: cheers!

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    Difficult
    04:45
    58.5 mi
    12.3 mph
    2,200 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Sven Nys is a true cycling legend in Belgium and still one of the most popular athletes in Belgium. He has won several cyclocross World Championship titles in his career and knows the Flanders classics like the back of his hand. Today, he passes on his experience at the Sven Nys Cycling Center. Here you can recreate Sven's career in a kind of museum, let yourself be given driving technique tips by the champion, exhaust yourself on the cyclocross racetrack on the Balenberg and let it pass in the Radcafé of the center.And you can do something else: start this beautiful tour, which starts right at the Sven Nys Cycling Center and where countless training kilometers have been completed on the Sven itself. You can hardly get to know one of the legends of Belgian cycling better.

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    Intermediate
    02:42
    29.6 mi
    10.9 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,550 ft
    Intermediate road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Cycling legend Eddy Merckx has won 525 road races in his career. The last of them on September 17, 1977 in Ruien (Kluisbergen). And just where the "cannibal" triumphed for the last time, you start the nearly 48-kilometer Eddy Merckx route through East Flanders.The round is rather short, but includes some of the famous classics from the Flemish cycling races. Just the thing to warm up. The Oude Kwaremont, the Patersberg and the ramp are just as much part of the route as the beautiful landscape with for example the Kluisbos.If you are relaxed this short round, it is perfect as a short Flanders Warmup program. If, on the other hand, you sprint up all the climbs with full power, you can end up feeling like Eddy once did after work - at least a little bit.

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    Difficult
    06:34
    77.2 mi
    11.8 mph
    3,950 ft
    3,950 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Gent-Wevelgem is one of the most famous cycling races in Flanders and is one of the so-called "spring classics". The flat tail also makes it a particularly grueling race for sprinters.The route that we show you here does not start in Ghent, nor does it end in Wevelgem, but at the foot of the legendary Kemmelberg in Heuvelland (hill country). But it includes the most important and difficult parts of the famous race, with cobblestone trails, steep hills and often unfavorable winds.You'll cover some 1,200 vertical meters in the West Flemish hills along the French border and along the "Flanders Fields": during the First World War it was anything but peaceful for four years. Countless soldiers left their lives here, citizens lost their homes and cities were razed to the ground. Even today, hundreds of monuments and cemeteries are reminiscent of this dark chapter of history.

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    Difficult
    06:13
    70.5 mi
    11.3 mph
    3,350 ft
    3,350 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Bradley Wiggins is one of the most colorful personalities in British cycling. In his active career he entered several world championship titles, is five-time Olympic champion and he even won the cycling event in 2012: The Tour de France. But what does this British pound person have to do with a road bike tour through Flanders? Simple: Bradley's parents were born in Gent, Belgium, where little Bradley lived until he was two years old. When his parents separated, his mother took him home to England.So, on this tour, you'll explore the true tracks of the Bradley Wiggins and a tour that the Master himself has done. You start in Ghent and make a nice, long round that is worthy of a world champion. The whole thing is garnished with a few typical Flanders peculiarities: Steep cobblestone passages, very cozy Belgian cycling pubs and, with a bit of luck, even a nasty headwind. A special highlight is the cycle track "'t Kuipke", which is close to the starting point of the tour and in which a stop is definitely worthwhile. After all, Wiggins began his career with the track cycling.

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    Difficult
    05:18
    62.2 mi
    11.7 mph
    2,400 ft
    2,400 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On this tour you will discover the small towns and villages between the Belgian capital and the famous wall of Geraardsbergen. You can see this track both as a test of your own skills as a cyclist and as a tribute to the so-called "spring classics".The route was developed by the Finnish, semi-professional cyclist Karl-Heinz, better known as Kardama. He used to train in the Soviet Union, today he calls Belgium his home. His first tour in Belgium took him from Brussels to Muur. This route has been adapted, optimized and refined and is now one of the most original ways to get from Brussels to the Flemish Ardennes.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    485 mi
  • Duration
    41:50 h
  • Elevation
    22,450 ft

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