Every year on October 3, Germany celebrates German Unity Day. But it is also the day of the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro. Starting point Münster is only 200 kilometers from Utrecht and therefore the closest gran fondo to many riders from the Benelux countries. You won't find a better way to end your season.
The Sparkassen Münsterland Giro is a impressive event. The pro race, a gran fondo with three different courses and a kids race. Cycling in the beautiful scenery of the hilly Münsterland is just awesome.
This year the pro race starts in Enschede where Henny Kuiper will give the starting signal. The names of the teams and riders have not yet been announced. The peloton will take a loop through Münsterland with several selective climbs.
The event has a different course each year and largely follows the route of the pros. Of course it is October so in terms of weather it can go either way. Participants can choose from three different distances that start separately at 45 minute intervals. All routes have an alternation of hills and flat sections. The climbs are short and never very steep.
|Cup der Sparkasse Münsterland Ost||65 km
|Cup der Westfälischen Provinzial Versicherung||95 km
|Cup der LBS||131 km||720m+||9:30 am||€83
Check out all routes on Komoot.
As with all German gran fondos, the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro is completely car-free. The starting shot falls pünktlich on time and there is immediate racing. Because the area around Münster is fairly flat, several large groups usually form and travel the first few kilometers with dizzying speed. When I participated in 2015, I effortlessly achieved an average of 43 km/h during the first hour. Riding in such a large peloton requires the necessary concentration. As soon as the first climb presents itself, the groups fall apart somewhat. But no matter how fast or slow you are, throughout the race you can count on having riders around you. It's really not just for the extremely fast riders, you'll encounter every level.
There's no gran fondo that gives you a greater pro feeling. Signalmen on the refuge hills, motorcycles with equipment and photographers on bikes. The road is blocked and in the villages the population turns out to cheer you on. Head-over-heels riding, climbing, hooking up, riding in a fan. It's really awesome, you just have to have experienced it. Who does not think this is cool should choose another sport.
In this year's edition, the first climb is already there after about 10 kilometers. In the hilly surroundings of Münsterland the climbs are tough, but not too long. The pack is bound to fall apart. It is constantly looking for a good group to accelerate together on the flat parts. The finish line is the same as the one where the pros will sprint off a few hours later.
The level of organization is extremely high. You don't get it better anywhere. Besides the car-free course there is the professional photo service of Sportograf. You can also order a fancy shirt.
Of course, the organization will do everything to make sure that everything runs as safe as possible. That is why the big, cosy expo at the finish will not take place this year.
Registration closes on 20 September. Normally you pick up your start number in the morning, now you get it sent to your home.
Visit the official website for all the information.
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