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Gent-Wevelgem
« on: March 15, 2017, 14:25 »
Gent-Wevelgem 2017: BACK TO ONE of the most remarkable PHENOMENA OF MILITARY HISTORY.
November 23, 2016
: Life on the Western Front was certainly no fun in the winter of 1914. The strijdende had dug in both camps (the allies on the one side in Germany and on the other side), after the war ended in a stalemate. The Northern European landscape looked quite remarkable: from the North Sea to the Swiss border were two opposing trench systems with between one country and barbed wire. On both sides were more or less made permanent facilities, such as underground rooms, shelters, stoves and latrines. On Christmas Eve in 1914, it froze on the Western Front. No further offensives were therefore expected. Both sides tried to make the best of it.

The Germans started the first Christmas to celebrate, there was drunk and here and there appeared a Christmas tree or a lantern above the trenches. Somewhere there began a soldier Silent Night, Holy Night sing. The British felt they had to give back and sang "The First Noel." The Germans applauded and then put 'O Tannenbaum' in, and so it went on.

The next day, on Christmas Day, came from both sides of the front the soldiers out of their trenches. field services were held in full view of the vijand without a shot being fired. Both parties waved to each other and a few brave soldiers walked into the no man's land to greet each other. Initially formed small groups, then increasing until in some places hundreds of soldiers stood By another. There were shaken hands, they put together a fire and an exchange of gifts: cigarettes, cigars and sausages, canned stew, tobacco, and London newspapers.

In some places were even factions played football. The most legendary contest between the British and the Germans, in the Saint-Yvon, near Ploegsteert. The Germans won 3-2. On December 11, 2014 by Michel Platini became UEFA Christmas Truce Monument inaugurated in KomenWaasten.

This spontaneous file was obviously much to the displeasure of the commanders. It affected the discipline, soldiers could indeed come to think that the vijand even a man. The carefully crafted vijandsbeeld must at all costs be preserved. Both sides justified measures to avoid this in the future. Nevertheless, there were twinning again during Christmas 1915, though on a smaller scale. Again the army leadership was furious. In the fall of 1916, orders were up by ordering execution for those who fraternized. That winter and also in those of 1917, there was no more files.

Yet there was a moment of peace on earth in 1914. The guns and cannons fell silent a moment. Just as there was room for Christmas for a little companionship and humanity.

While no other conflict has ever been talk of such a spontaneous rapprochement between the besieged. It remains one of the most remarkable phenomena in the history of war.

"This Christmas Eve was celebrated in a fraternal mood. The Germans brought fine stuff. They also had plenty of wine. Our soldiers could nothing to offer in its place. As the hours passed pulled everyone back to his trench and soon crackled gunfire again Never land. [...] An investigation was conducted, the court martial came to pass and the station chief was called to account. Lieutenant Naviau, a Walloon, was demoted. The soldiers were allowed to rest. "


(Belgian soldier Rik Reynaerts)

Hans De Clercq, sporting manager at Gent-Wevelgem:

As World Tour Tier 1 game we enjoy a massive appearance. Gent-Wevelgem Flanders Fields is broadcast around the world, from Norway to Australia, from Mexico to Thailand.

By integrating with Plug Streets in the course will be fought again, albeit happy with the bike. We also pay tribute to the victims and the viewer can appropriately commemorate the fallen.

We therefore the link between the sport in the year 2017 and the unfortunate past of 100 years ago. "Let us never forget how they fought for us!"

plug Streets

"This is about 3 strips, semi-paved roads or otherwise called Green Roads, with a total distance of 5.2 kilometers. The first two strips are slightly inclined and are in open plains where the wind will have free reign. At the entrance to the 2nd strip is the Christmas Truce monument that reflects the symbolism of Christmas in 1914 Files. "

"Integrating this strip between the two Kemmel Race, will provide additional nervousness. There will be less opportunity to recover. The match will be here







previous winners
2016   SAGAN Peter *si   
2015   PAOLINI Luca *it   
2014   DEGENKOLB John *de   
2013   SAGAN Peter *si   
2012   BOONEN Tom *be   
2011   BOONEN Tom *be   
2010   EISEL Bernhard *at   
2009   BOASSON HAGEN Edvald *no   
2008   FREIRE GOMEZ Oscar *es   
2007   BURGHARDT Marcus *de

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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #1 on: March 15, 2017, 17:44 »
    Life on the Western Front was certainly no fun in the winter of 1914.

    Has there ever been a greater understatement?
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 15:08 »



    Four Kilometers Through Battlefield

    Passed the Irish Peace Tower of Mesen the Ghent-Wevelgem route is modified for a passage across the World War One battlefields. The area is 5.7km long including 4 of them on half-asphalted little roads. The ‘Plugstreets’ owe their names to the British soldiers of the time who had a hard time pronouncing “Ploegsteert”.

    (Gazet van Antwerpen 23/11/2016)

    2017 Edition more than ever a tribute to the Great War with a passage over the land paths in Flanders Fields.

    With three half asphalted sections with 4km altogether Ghent-Wevelgem goes more than a century back in time. The route even goes across the World War One battlefield in Ploegstreet whereby this WorldTour-monument gets even more nervous than ever.
    Quote
    The three Plugstreets don’t come like that. The land paths of the time perfectly fit in the story of the Classic in Flanders Fields.

    Ghent-Wevelgem: that has always been the game of wind in the Moeren and the Westhoek [a great sand region around De Panne with an oasis inside it :)], the hilly roads[1] and hills of the Heuvelland, and then the long straight roads to Wevelgem. Last year there were even 7 races in one day and in 2017 the organization added an extra dimension to it with the introduction of three half-asphalted sections in Ploegsteert alongside bunkers, above trenches and alongside the Christmas Truce Monument in Komen-Waasten for the single Christmas ceasefire of the war in 1914.

    Greenroads[2] is the name of these farmer paths who are situated in the no man’s land around the Plugstreet Experience 14-18 Belevingsmuseum and who get along historically valuable places. They are chariots path sprinkled with gravels and not much wider than a car.
    Quote
    Last year I was advised by Rudy Lamond (member of the organization of Ghent-Wevelgem, e.d.) who was bitten by this cruel history of this back land where Flanders goes over to the Hainaut province and Northern France[3] The first time I saw the Plugstreets I was skeptical. I’m not even a fan of the Strade Bianche which goes through a lot of non-asphalt roads but the municipality Ploegsteert was very much honoured and promised to refine it but not to sweep it up. That was unnecessary. The riders we invited  last week for a test asked to please not do it otherwise from a race viewpoint it makes no sense. There is less chance of flat tyre there than in the Arenberg Forest or the Carrefour de l’Arbre, the key points of Paris-Roubaix
     3. the historical County of Flanders included part of Northern France and of the currently Walloon province of Hainaut

    says Hans De Clercq [I’m wondering how a dirt road can be less open to flat tyre than cobbles but well, ???]

    Those test pilots were Jens Debusschere, Sep Vanmarcke, neo pro Maxime Farazijn, [Mr Aranesp] Johan Museeuw and Nico Mattan.
    Quote
    You know that here you have to be in front. Everybody knows that there'll be a hard fight there. Okay it goes on narrow roads but that is also what Ghent-Wevelgem is. Otherwise you need to remove every roads in Flanders. It's a good ride-able area on which you good less chance to recover.

    According to Debusschere it won’t happen on Plugstreets soon.
    Quote
    These are not Strade Bianche situations. This I’m glad about. The most dangerous spot is just thereafter when you get to the wide roads. It will be all in one line. If the wind is then good, you can make an echelon out of it. It belongs to the peculiarity of the race that can lead to two options, a bunch sprint or a small group sprint.

    The big difference is that after the first crossing of the Kemmel there’s a deviation from the wide road pattern. Now between km 163 and 210 (the last trip on the Kemmel) it can be a nervous race.
    Hans De Clercq
    Quote
    I don’t expect that you can win the race on the Plugstreets but you lose it. From the Mount Noir to the second time on the Kemmel, you also get 3 climbs in 10km

    [Ploegsteert is the hometown of the Vandenbroucke family. No need to translate the bit about the infamous nephew of Jean-Luc’s]

    Ghent-Wevelgem is about ready with its new identity with this new find because it has always been the aim to link the sad past and today. Hans De Clercq:
    Quote
    Last year we even had 50,000 TV viewers more than Paris-Roubaix and as much as the Tour of Flanders. Ghent-Wevelgem in the background of Flanders Fields is a world story that touches as much the Chinese as the Canadians.



    (Nieuwsblad – 15 March 2017)

    Ghent-Wevelgem Cares for Safer Feed Zone

    Ghent-Wevelgem organizers set new rules to improve safety in the feed zone. It comes from former [clinical] *fr rider Jacky Durand. The idea was straight forward:
    Quote
    The soigneurs stay where they are. Beforehand teams are given a number[4]. The soigneurs are also with their number in their job [not sure if my translation is correct, Dutchies help me?]. There are always 5 teams on a 100m distance. In zone 1: teams with numbers 1 to 5, in Zone 2: those with numbers 6 to 10, etc. The numbers in the feed zones match those of the following cars. For Ghent-Wevelgem, there needs to be a 500m zone in order to give room to every team.
     4. ”I am not a number. I’m a free man!!!”
    Says Hans De Clercq, race director.

    The new system had already been adapted in the Gooikse Pijl and Jacky Durand introduced it in the Boucles de la Mayenne.
    Quote
    I hope that the UCI and race organisers quickly adapt it everywhere.
    Says Hans De Clercq again.

     1. in English in the text
     2. ditto
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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

    LaVelocipede

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 15:38 »
    Is the last passage of the Kemmelberg a little closer to the end than before?
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  • "Cycling is like boxing: It's not a game. It's a hard, pitiless sport that demands very great sacrifices.One plays football, tennis, hockey, but one does not play at cycling."
    - Jean de Gribaldy

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 16:42 »
    no, it's exactly the same as last year, as far as I can see
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    LukasCPH

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 11:54 »
    I’m wondering how a dirt road can be less open to flat tyre than cobbles but well
    A well-maintained gravel road with no large stones on the surface is almost as good as asphalt to ride on: Much less vibrations as on cobbles, and one continuous surface.
    Cobbles aren't laid next to each other, but with a small (or even large ...) gap in between. On a 500 m stretch of cobbles you will have 2500-5000 of those small gaps, and the tyres will suffer a lot more through this sudden decrease in 'ground pressure' than they will on a gravel road.

    If it's a gravel road that's more water-filled potholes than actual road surface, it's a different matter altogether - but as far as I can tell the Ploegsteert sections will be alright-ish.
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    just some guy

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 12:17 »
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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #7 on: March 23, 2017, 08:56 »
    Patrick is not happy this morning... I take it this is Plugstreet dissatisfaction

    https://twitter.com/PatLefevere/status/844833940032540676
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #8 on: March 23, 2017, 09:06 »
    yep Patrick likes a Grump so ignore and move on
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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #9 on: March 23, 2017, 09:08 »
    yep Patrick likes a Grump so ignore and move on

    You'd think he'd still be all happy after yesterday...
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #10 on: March 23, 2017, 09:09 »
    You'd think he'd still be all happy after yesterday...

    maybe he knows it will be their only race with good tactics - every spring they give out a classics clinic, so maybe he is worried for Roubiax now  :lol :lol :-x
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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #11 on: March 23, 2017, 09:22 »
    maybe he knows it will be their only race with good tactics - every spring they give out a classics clinic, so maybe he is worried for Roubiax now  :lol :lol :-x

    HAH... they were very good yesterday. Not only the front two, though I was worried about Terpstra, he's always a bit of a wildcard.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #12 on: March 23, 2017, 09:24 »
    HAH... they were very good yesterday. Not only the front two, though I was worried about Terpstra, he's always a bit of a wildcard.

    the Stybar Niki move to bridge to G2 which stopped them from chasing the leading 4 was a thing of beauty
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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #13 on: March 23, 2017, 09:26 »
    the Stybar Niki move to bridge to G2 which stopped them from chasing the leading 4 was a thing of beauty

    It was... keep it up Quicksteppers
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #14 on: March 23, 2017, 09:38 »
    Patrick is not happy this morning... I take it this is Plugstreet dissatisfaction
    So Tro Bro Leon, GP Herning, Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic etc. should drop their gravel sections now, just because a race first held in 2008 that has since become extremely successful is the only gravel race that a WT team manager knows of?

    What a dunce.
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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #15 on: March 23, 2017, 10:18 »
    agreed - you would think he would be happier with these types of races - its Quicksteps bread and butter.  Its what their team is structured around ...


    The move of Stybar and Terpstra yesterday was fantastic.  They are as much to credit with the win as Lampaert and Gilbert.  It stopped the chase
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #17 on: March 25, 2017, 19:58 »
    *be Het Nieuwsblad:

    ***** Sagan
    **** Boonen, Degenkolb
    *** Kristoff, GvA, Démare
    ** Groenewegen, Trentin, Cort, Debusschere
    * Roelandts, Gaviria, Ewan, Stuyven, Planckaert
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #18 on: Today at 06:55 »
    https://twitter.com/Velorooms/status/845876379312947203

    Sector 1: 2100m

    The first sector is clearly the most critical of the three. Riders come off a wide main road, taking a 90-degree right-hander onto a narrow lane before the gravel begins 100 metres or so further on. The race may have split up by that point but if there's a large bunch then the fight for position going into that bend will be intense.

    As soon as the gravel starts, the path is exposed, with a heavy crosswind blowing on the Saturday. After 100 metres or so there's a 90-degree left-hander and from there the road rises gradually before a right-left chink takes them through another patch of farmland, where the surface is marginally better for a brief stretch. Another tight left-hander, in front of a row of poppy emblems, leads the riders through a snaking but gently downhill stretch, with barbed wire fencing on the right-hand side a gentle reminder of the price of a moment's misjudgment.

    The surface is actually pretty decent and not a huge danger in and of itself, though the length of this sector, combined with the significant drag and the exposure to the winds, make it a key flashpoint of the race, where splits will occur.

    Sector 2: Christmas Truce – 1300m

    The first sector ends back at the aforementioned main road, and the riders head straight over it and down a narrow road towards the second sector, passing the memorial to the Christmas ceasefire.

    With a pile of footballs placed between two preserved trenches, it's a moving spot, but the riders will have no time to dwell on it all as they immediately take another tight 90-degree right-hand bend into the second sector, named Christmas Truce.

    It runs gently downhill until a right-hand bend, and after that it's flat and pretty straightforward, with the hill on one side and the forest on the other providing protection from the wind. The surface is much the same as the first sector. There's a kick up off onto the main road again and a short stretch before another right-hander that leads onto the narrow road that precedes the third and final sector.

    Sector 3: Catacombs – 600m

    Another tight 90-degree right-hand bend leads onto the third sector but there's little in the way of difficulty here. It's flat, relatively straight, and is once again gravelly without being too sketchy. With a thick layer of trees on either side, the wind won't be a factor, and in any case it's all over after just 600 metres.

    really good from CN
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Gent-Wevelgem
    « Reply #19 on: Today at 07:49 »
    Sun and very little wind this morning
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