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11-04-2024 | Herman Nekkers

Discovering Diversity: The Tour of Nijmegen

Event organizer Golazo is known for Tour of Flanders sportives, LBL Challenge, Marmotte Series and Gran fondo Vosges, among others. They are also recognized for their top-notch sportives in the Netherlands, including the hidden gem, the Ronde van Nijmegen. We set out for a recon. On the inaugural summer day, editor Yda and I embarked on an official reconnaissance of the Ronde van Nijmegen course.

Beautiful landscape of the cycling routePhotograph: Even the smallest farm roads look great paved.

The Ronde van Nijmegen offers three distances, with the longest promising a comprehensive experience. Additionally, it serves as an excellent preparatory ride for the upcoming major gran fondos. Both of us are venturing into this cycling territory for the first time, eagerly anticipating surprises along the way. Are you ready to be surprised too? Then delve into our journey, as we have an enticing special offer in store.

The inaugural twenty kilometers

The official starting point is Park Brakkenstein in the southern outskirts of Nijmegen. After parking nearby, we set off early in the morning. The terrain immediately presents us with undulating false flats. Approximately ten kilometers in, we traverse through the German town of Wyler, encountering a challenging climb along a narrow trail. This uphill battle warms our legs instantly. Progressing through Kleefsebaan, we head to Beek to tackle the notorious Oude Holleweg, renowned as one of the toughest climbs in the Netherlands beyond Limburg: a grueling one-kilometer ascent with a maximum gradient of 14%. Immediately following is another demanding climb: the Beekmandalseweg in Ubbergen. Within the first twenty kilometers, we conquer roughly five climbs.

Cyclists conquering the Oude HollewegPhoto: The Oude Holleweg with a maximum gradient of 14%.

Exploring the Reichswald after crossing the Waal

Leaving the urban landscape behind, we venture into quieter realms via Waaldijk and the Ooipolder. Soon, we find ourselves traversing tranquil polder landscapes, only reminded of our German whereabouts by the road signs. The roads, resembling billiard tables, boast minimal traffic. Initially flat, the terrain gradually becomes undulating, surprising us with regular climbs within village confines. Though not overly treacherous, these ascents demand active engagement from our legs.

Scenic climb in a villagePhoto: Regularly a surprising climb in one of the villages.

Once across the Dutch-German border, we encounter the picturesque Reichswald, a highlight of the journey. This beautiful forest boasts a delightful undulating path, offering glimpses of wildlife, although eluding our sight. However, we do catch sight of numerous birds of prey. This renowned area proves to be a cycling paradise in all its forms.

Scenic route through the ReichswaldPicture: A lovely rolling track through the Reichswald.

Continuing towards Kalkar

Exiting the Reichswald, undulations persist momentarily before transitioning into flat expanses amid agricultural landscapes. With a brisk wind challenging our progress, we appreciate the well-paved nature of even the narrowest farm roads. Noteworthy are the bike paths paralleling busier thoroughfares, albeit narrow, they suffice. After covering 105 kilometers, we reach Kalkar, once known for a nuclear power plant constructed in the 1970s and 1980s, now repurposed into the amusement park Wunderland Kalkar. The bustling square invites us to unwind at a terrace for refreshments and a photo opportunity in front of the Rathaus. During the sportive, such breaks aren't necessary, thanks to multiple supply stations offering fresh fruits, cookies, and sports nutrition.

Scenic view of KalkarPhoto: A photo shoot in front of the Rathaus.

Homeward bound to Nijmegen

A sixty-kilometer journey lies ahead as we embark on our return to Nijmegen. Post-Kalkar, undulations punctuate the landscape briefly before transitioning into a predominantly flat trajectory across agricultural expanses. Despite our predominantly peaceful journey, the relentless wind takes its toll on our stamina. Progressing through hamlets, we soon cross back into Dutch territory, greeted by the Sint Jansberg, affectionately dubbed Col du Saint Jean, albeit with some exaggeration. Near Groesbeek, we delve into the forest for a final ten kilometers of undulating terrain. After covering 167 kilometers and climbing eight hundred meters, we triumphantly cross the finish line.

Cycling through the forestPhoto: Through the forest for the final ten rolling kilometers.

Final thoughts

The Tour of Nijmegen offers a kaleidoscope of experiences amidst breathtaking surroundings. From challenging climbs to rolling hills and serene flats, it offers a diverse terrain for every cyclist. Whether undertaken as a season opener or the pinnacle event, the Ronde van Nijmegen promises an unrivaled experience.

Exclusive discount offer

To commemorate our course reconnaissance, we're extending a limited-time offer of 25% discount on select start tickets. Hurry, visit our CycloWorld SHOP before they vanish!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday 11 May.
  • Start/Finish: Nijmegen.
  • Distances: 165 km, 120 km, or 70 km.
  • Signage + GPX routes provided.
  • Three supply stations (for longest distance).
  • Supervised bicycle parking available at start/finish.
  • Photography service.
  • Technical support and emergency hotline.
  • Finish line festivities including music, partner stalls, and entertainment.
  • Ample parking facilities.
  • Exclusive 25% discount on start tickets available at the CycloWorld SHOP.
  • If sold out, register via the official website.

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