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07-03-2022 | Wouter Fioole

Hunting season has begun

In the opposite order as the pros, I rode the opening weekend this weekend. Anyone who follows cycling knows what this means. Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Omloop het Nieuwsblad! Cobblestones, Flemish climbs, wonderful cycling atmosphere, beautiful scenery and fortunately ice in the ditch (and here and there on the road). Because with the sun it was actually too nice weather otherwise. I think it's great!

Awesome sportives

Okay, they are just sportives despite being called "cyclo". I won't say anything about that.  But they are close to home, close enough for me to have a hit-and-run. I love that, getting into the car early in the morning without a shower. Coffee and breakfast in the car. Driving without others on the road. Watching the sun rise over the Flemish hills. Scan & ride and take off for somewhere between 4 and 8 hours cycling. I did dry off with a towel and put on a dry shirt, but otherwise got back in the car without showering. And the good news? From now on, you can do that every weekend! The series of Continental Classic Tours, Proximus Cycling Challenges and numerous smaller organizations offer sportives of each of the big men's races. The choice is huge, but which one to choose?

Kuurne - Brussel - Kuurne

This one at least! So it's already been ridden this year, but put it already in the agenda as your season opener next year. One of the few big races that is still completely organized by volunteers, both for the pros and for the amateurs. In addition, you come here more often on pieces that the other sportives neglect. That certainly doesn't make it less challenging or beautiful. I think perhaps that is why it is even more beautiful. Especially when you get the extensive ravishment in caré farms (see photo). Or being waved off and welcomed by a speaker and DJ with endless energy. And - importantly - when you arrive in the hall you can all watch the professional race of the Omloop on the big screen! If you want to do all the famous mountains and cobbled roads, then the Ronde van Vlaanderen itself is of course the perfect event For this, you do have to be quick to register. Otherwise I would just take one of a local association ... Conviviality is key! For example, on March 26 I hope to ride the Parel van't Pajottenland. Just the name! A nice route over some less known, but not less beautiful or challenging roads.

Fancy more competition?

And then of course since this year we finally have a - what in my opinion at least - can be called "semi gran fondo" over cobblestones: Chasing Cancellara Flanders. With the code CWVDE84SLC you can register for it with 10% discount. I call it a "semi gran fondo" because there is only a time measurement on a very limited part of the course. Namely on 6 slopes:

Eventually a ranking with a winner is drawn up. During the sportive of the Omloop I was 30th of the day (of 2000) on De Muur according to Strava. On 20 March I will be at the start in Ronse with ambition. Fabian himself is usually there too.... So the (hunting) season is open!

Not only Chasing Cancellara, but also a place in the top 25? Who knows?

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