BELGIUM 2024 – GET READY TO VISIT THE WORLD’S NUMBER ONE CYCLING COUNTRY; WEST LONDON CYCLING’S BELGIUM 2024 CYCLING CLASSICS TRIP

Whilst we might acknowledge that the ‘bod on the Clapham omnibus’ might mistakenly believe that France is the epicentre of cycling, most road cyclists are well aware that it is, in fact, Belgium. Even French Fries originated in Belgium! Belgium has the best beer in the world too, and does pretty well with chocolate and waffles too. But the creme de la creme of Belgium are the Belgium Ardennes around Oudenaarde, Names like the Koppenberg, Paterberg, Kwaremont and the iconic Mur van Gerardsbergen are places on every serious road cyclists’ bucket list, and you can ride them all on this trip. With the Tour of Flanders museum a couple of minutes walk from the hotel, immerse yourself in cycling history and culture. Weather permitting, this could be the best cycling trip abroad you ever make. Visit the greatest cycling country in the world, in its premier iconic locality!

There is also an option to ride some of the Paris-Roubaix cobbles on the last day too … how cool is that? Don’t worry if that’s not for you, the alternative is a beautiful Calais – Dunkerque ride (both previously tested by West London Cycling riders)

Days 1 and 4 are optional rides and we’ve added a second option for the fourth day, which is the day we travel back. You can now either choose to drive straight home, do some Paris-Roubaix Cobbles or some wonderful flat riding from Calais to Dunkerque and back.

Riders will need to make their own arrangements with regards to transport and accommodation but we have set out the options below. Anticipated costs €120 per night twin room plus petrol and a return ferry crossing. Costs will vary per individual depending on room sharing and car sharing. You need to bring your own bike (Although Bike Hire may be available)

Scroll down for PICTURES, routes, links to the bergs and cobbles, the Hellingen book, bike hire, hotel and ferry links.

ROUTES

The concept is that you have a choices, two days’ riding the iconic bergs (3 nights), or three days riding (plus a short ride en-route on day one) and conquer all 25 bergs in Simon Warren’s Hellingen book / App.. In both cases, upon arrival in Oudenaarde, a visit to the Tour of Flanders Cycling Museum is deemed essential!

(numbers in brackets relate to the climbs in the Hellingem book first number is the local reference*=duplicated over the routes)

DAY 1 (OPTIONAL) THURSDAY 25th July 2024

Travel outwards (possibly via the short Flanders 4 route KEMMELBERG – RODEBERG 18km 320m) and visit Flandrian Cycling Museum in Oudenaarde (CENTRUM RONDE VAN VLAANDEREN)

3. KEMMELBERG (1)

RODEBERG (2)

1. MONTEBERG

46. BANEBERG (2)

DAY 2 (OPTIONAL) FRIDAY 26th July 2024

Flanders 3 Route TAAIENBERG – FOREEST 104km 1,240m (Or Travel out as day 1)

34. NOKEREBERG (3)

21. KLUISBERG (4)

KNOKTEBERG / COTE de TRIEU (5)

39. KORTEKEER (8)

36. LADEUZE (11)

22. VOLKEGEMBERG (13)

55*.TAAIENBERG (15)

27. FORREST (18)

4. TENBOSSE (22)

59. BERENDRIES (23)

REKELBERG

KATTENBERG (12)

DAY 3 SATURDAY 27th July 2024

Flanders 1 Route MUUR VAN GERARDSBERGEN 94km 1,068m

26*.RUITERSTRAAT

42. KERKGATE

43. JAGERIJ

44. MOLENBERG (19)

50. PADDESTRAAT

51*.HAAGHOEK

9*. LEBERG (20)

16. ELVERENBERG

53. MUUR VAN GERAARDSBERGEN (KAPELMUUR & VESTEN) (24)

52. BOSBERG (25)

DAY 4 SUNDAY 28th July 2024

Flanders 2 Route KOPPENBERG KWAREMONT 94km 1,256m

41. WOLVENBERG

26*. RUITERSSTRAAT

51*. HAAGHOEK

9*.LEBERG (20)

35. VALKENBERG (21)

6. BOIGNEBERG (17)

48. EIKENBERG (14)

58. KOPPENBERG (9)

24. MARIABORRESTRAAT – STEENBEEKDRIES

55*. TAAINBERG (15)

14. KAPERIJ

32. KANARIEBERG (16)

54. OUDE KRUISBERG (10)

57. OUDE KWAREMONT (6)

56. PATERBERG (7)

DAY 5 (OPTIONAL) MONDAY 29th July 2024

CHOICE OF RIDES – COBBLES OR COAST?

1.Travel home via TROUEE d’ARENBERG PARIS -ROUBAIX SEGMENTS 38km COBBLES

PARIS-ROUBAIX SECTOR NUMBER / SECTOR NAME / LENGTH / OFFICIAL RATING

19. Haveluy (2,500m) ****
18. Trouée d’Arenberg (2,400m) *****
17. Wallers – Hélesmes (a.k.a. Pont Gibus) (1,600m) ***
16. Hornaing (3,700m) ****

2.or perhaps travel to Calais and ride to Dunkerque and back before getting the evening ferry home

CALAIS – DUNKERQUE – CALAIS FLAT 123km 361m ascent

LOCAL CYCLING FLANDERS CHALLENGE

NOTE: There is also a local Flandrien challenge to do 59 segments in 72 hours: 1-Monteberg 2-Gildestraat 3-Kemmelberg(1) 4-Tenbosse(22) 5-Langemunte 6-Boigneberg(17) 7-Stationsberg 8-Steenbeekberg 9-Leberg(20) 10-Ganzenberg 11-Kouterberg 12-Kappelleberg 13-Pottenberg 14-Kaperij 15-Berg Ten Houte 16-Elverenberg-Vossenhol 17-Steenberg 18-Onderbossenaar 19-Hostellerie 20-De Vlamme 21-Kluisberg-Bergstraat(4) 22-Volkegemberg(13) 23-Lettenberg 24-Mariaborrestraate-Steenbeekdries 25-Varentberg 26-Ruitersstraat 27-Forrest(18) 28-Zandberg 29-Scherpenberg 30-Lippenhovestraat 31-Korten Ast 32-Kanarieberg(16) 33-Doorn 34-Nokereberg(3) 35-Valkenberg(21) 36-Ladeuze(11) 37-Achterberg 38-Kortendries 39-Kortekeer(8) 40-Schapenberg-Scherpenberg 41-Wolvenberg 42-Kerkgate 43-Jagerij 44-Molenberg(19) 45-Schomminkel 46-Baneberg 47-Kemmelberg (Belvedere)(1) 48-Eikenberg(14) 49-Huisepontweg 50-Peddestraat 51-Haaghoek 52-Bosberg(25) 53-De Vesten & De Muur(24) 54-Oude Kruisberg(10) 55-Taainberg(15) 56-Paterberg(7) 57-Oude Kwaremont(6) 58-Koppenberg(9) 59-Berendries(23)

BUY THE HELLINGEN BOOK HERE

GET THE HELLINGEN APP HERE

HOTELS

Hotel Leopold €120 Twin Room … Bike Storage Room, good car parking, rides start here, near town square restaurants and Cycling Museum

Hotel Leopold is our preferred hotel as it is where the rides start and has good parking outside. It is used to having cyclists and is not far from the Town Square Restaurants and the Flanders Cycling Museum.

Steenhuyse Town Centre – nearby parking @ €15 per day, reservation needed or park outside the Leopold

De Rantere Town Centre – no parking available but you can probably park outside the Leopold

Hotel de Zalm Town centre, may need to reserve parking

Hotel La Pomme d’or Town centre but no parking available

Hotel Moriaanshoofd outside Town in Mullem a few km north of Oudenaarde, this Hotel is used by the Quick Step World Tour Team

Bed & Breakfast Jezuietenplein 21 No parking, but paid parking nearby

There are several buildings for hire in the area for cycling groups. This usually requires sharing rooms with more than one other person and are not generally close to the town centre and restaurants.

De Flandriehoeve Hotond Sports Hotel Bergs & Cobbles B&B

In’t wiel De Wiitte Hoeve Velocipede Hof Van Eine t’Huys Van Enaeme SintJacobshoeve

FERRIES & TUNNEL

Although Dunquerque is nearer our destination than Calais, the ferry crossing takes longer as a consequenceso we are not convinced that it makes a lot of difference …. Some of us are on P&O 06.55 depart Thursday morning and return P&O 19.00 Monday evening.

DFDS FERRIES

IRISH FERRIES

EUROTUNNEL

BY TRAIN

Eurostar make it difficult to take bikes on their trains these days, however, if you are able to hire a bike in Oudenaarde then the train may be an option. You could get Eurostar to either Lille or Bruxelles Midi/Zuid and get a local train to Oudenaarde. If you go from Lille, expect about an hour’s travel and you will need to change at Kortrijk. The travel from Brussels to Oudenaarde probably won’t involve changing trains and will take slightly less time, however, there will be a 40 minute extra journey on Eurostar so Lille would appear to be quicker.

BIKE HIRE

You can hire bikes from the CENTRUM RONDE VAN VLAANDEREN

You can Rent a Bike at L’Amusette Cycling Cafe

GALLERY