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01-03-2024 | Herman Nekkers

Volta NXT Classic, the best Dutch season opener

For years it has been a tradition in our group of cycling friends: in early April the season opens with the Volta Limburg Classic. In 2024, I am preparing for my ninth participation. The name has changed to Volta NXT Classic, but not the quality and atmosphere. Do you want to be there? We have a great offer.


Prorace

The Saturday before the tour race is the Volta NXT Classic for men's and women's pros. In 2024, the 49th edition will already be run. Previously this race was known as Hel van het Mergelland. Nice to pick up if you are staying in Limburg for a few days. Usually the Sunday after the pro race is time for the tour. Due to Easter, thatwill take place on Monday this year.

Routes

The routes always have a special character. They run partly through Limburg and partly through the Belgian Voer region. Usually famous names like the Keutenberg, Cauberg and Eyserbosweg are skipped. Instead, much lesser known climbs and small roads are sought. In this way I have already gotten to know quite a few in Limburg and the Voerstreek that are more than worthwhile.

We have been allowed to preview the 2024 routes. I can tell you that the longest route will go about fifty-fifty through the Netherlands and Belgium. Bring your lightest gear, because the double-digit percentages pass by more than once. Also nice is the variety of routes. Early in the season, 150 kilometers and 2400 meters of elevation is not for everyone. That's why there are three more shorter routes: 120, 90 and 65 kilometers.

Gravel

Graveling is booming, so there's also a 75-kilometer gravel ride. Count on two-thirds unpaved roads and over a thousand meters of elevation. Limburg is a gravel rider's paradise. Participating means enjoying.

Organization

The organization is perfect. The signage is fine and well visible. You also get a gpx file sent a few days in advance. The supplies are well provided with food and drinks, there are racks for your bike and sanitary facilities. Parking is in and around Eijsden. You will be directed to a parking lot, never more than a few kilometers from the start. Picking up the start number goes smoothly.

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Ambiance

With about 1500 participants, this tour is not too massive, but cozy enough to feel like you are participating in an event. Expect Limburg geniality from the organization and good-humored fellow riders.

The center of Eijsden is super cozy with the Vroenhof as the central location. Since a number of streets are lined with cobblestones you get a little bit of Tour of Flanders atmosphere. Afterwards there is always a festival with stands and lots of fun. Time for beer, fries, afterglow and looking ahead to the rest of the season. Perhaps the most important part of the day.


The Weather

At the beginning of April you have to take everything into account. Usually it is still quite chilly in the morning. Strangely enough, in my previous eight participations, I hardly ever experienced a rain edition. In fact, how the organization manages to do it is a mystery, but in the afternoon at the Vroenhof it is almost always pleasant weather. Make sure you have flexible clothing that you can take off.

In short, I am already looking forward to it.

Info

  • Date: April 1, 2024 (Easter Monday).
  • Start/Finish: Eijsden.
  • Routes road: 150km/2400m+, 120km/1900m+, 90km/1400m+m, 65km/1000m+.
  • Route gravel: 75km/1000m+.
  • Photo service: Sportograf.
  • Price: €33.50 (150km), €28.50 (all other routes).
  • More info on CycloWorld.
  • Official website. 
  • Offer: Start tickets for €20.00 in the CycloWorld SHOP. Out = out!

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