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Mellow Velo

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      64th E3 Saxo Bank Classic, March 26th 2021

The race was previously known as E3 Harelbeke. It features seventeen hills adding up to an elevation gain of almost 2,400 metres and amounts to 203.9 kilometres.
The E3 Saxo Bank Classic kicks off ten days of passionate racing in Flanders.
The cobbles and ‘hellingen’ of these races epitomise what many feeling to be the best part of the season.





Last year’s E3 race was cancelled due to COVID-19, so Zdenek Stybar has been title holder for two years.

Recent winners E3 Classic

2020: cancelled
2019: Zdenek Stybar (cze)
2018: Niki Terpstra (nld)
2017: Greg Van Avermaet (bel)
2016: Michal Kwiatkowski (pol)
2015: Geraint Thomas (gbr)
2014: Peter Sagan (svk)

E3 Saxo Bank Records

Winning the race five times, Tom Boonen is the undisputed king of the E3. Back in the days his countryman Rick Van Looy was four times victorious in the classic.
The route is similar to the Tour of Flanders, so - obviously - the same goes for the major contenders to win the race.
Long-range attacks are quite common in the E3 Harelbeke, although the race also has seen its fair share of late attacks and sprints of select groups.

Favourites E3 Saxo Bank Classic 2021

:*:*:*:*:* Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel
:*:*:*:*  Mads Pedersen, Michael Matthews, Søren Kragh Andersen
:*:*:* Jasper Stuyven,  Matteo Trentin, Greg Van Avermaet, Kasper Asgreen, Alberto Bettiol
:*:* Anthony Turgis, Oliver Naesen,Alexander Kristoff, Yves Lampaert, John Degenkolb
:* Philippe Gilbert, Iván García, Tiesj Benoot,Tom Pidcock, Sep Vanmarcke

You can watch the race live today, from 13.55pm CET through to 6.15pm on GCN+ and from 2.10pm to 5.55pm on the Eurosport Player.

So cheers!



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  • « Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 12:20 by Mellow Velo »
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

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    here is also Het Nieuwsblad's star ranking:

    :*:*:*:*:* van der Poel
    :*:*:*:* van Aert, Kragh
    :*:*:* Lampaert, Stuyven, Pidcock
    :*:* van Avermaet, Stybar, Küng, Trentin
    :* Matthews, Naesen, Bettiol, Vanmarcke, Benoot

    Vanmarcke was sick over the past week, so remains to be seen how well he is doing, I guess. Personally I'd add Turgis to the list. He has a 2nd in Dwars and 3rd in the Omloop now + 4th in last year's Ronde. That should be enough for a star or two
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    Mellow Velo

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    here is also Het Nieuwsblad's star ranking:

    :*:*:*:*:* van der Poel
    :*:*:*:* van Aert, Kragh
    :*:*:* Lampaert, Stuyven, Pidcock
    :*:* van Avermaet, Stybar, Küng, Trentin
    :* Matthews, Naesen, Bettiol, Vanmarcke, Benoot

    Vanmarcke was sick over the past week, so remains to be seen how well he is doing, I guess. Personally I'd add Turgis to the list. He has a 2nd in Dwars and 3rd in the Omloop now + 4th in last year's Ronde. That should be enough for a star or two


    Yes an omission on my part as I picked him for my CQ Spring classics team. So 2 stars for him.
    I have taken on board your comment about Sep too and removed a star. ;)


     Meanwhile, Bora are out of the race, after Walls tests positive for Covid.

    https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/bora-hansgrohe-out-of-e3-classic-as-walls-tests-positive-for-covid-19/
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  • « Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 12:34 by Mellow Velo »

    LukasCPH

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    I missed the race (E3 is my least favourite Flemish classic), but I can see the result:
    #champdk Asgreen fired up the *dk Danish Dynamite! :woohoo

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    and in quite a spectacular fashion! 50k solo, caught, gone solo again
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  • Echoes

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    I haven't seen the race but it stands clear from the eventual results that Mathieu Van der Poel had been caught in the crossfire by the Quick Step team.
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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)

    AG

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    it was a pretty entertaining race.

    DQS tactics were pretty much first class.  Made the moves to break things up, got riders in the front group, got a rider up the road and then put guys in every group.   In the end it was a toss up = any of the DQS riders in the ftont group (3 out of 7 - 4 if you include Lampeart who made it but then punctured).

    The others simply were not prepared to combine to bring hte rider back when they had 2 more who would immediately attack.   Naeson and GVA were both there - but couldnt decide who to work for ... and in the end each put in a solo attempt rather than working with anyone else (understandable as if Asgren was bought back it would only allow another Stepper off the front)

    Having said that - INCREDIBLY impressive performance by Asgren.  He deserved to win.
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  • Echoes

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    83rd GHENT-WEVELGEM (254 km), 28th March




    So tomorrow is Ghent-Wevelgem ! For many the least entertaining of all Flemish spring (semi-)classics because of the lack obstacles in the final 40 km but it still is a historical race. Created in 1934 in honour of Gaston Rebry who was born in the neighbouring town of Rolleghem-Kapelle but was a Wevelgem resident and passed away there in 1953 (he never started the race though), Ghent-Wevelgem internationalised in the 1950's which saw the participation of Gino Bartali *it , Ferdi Kübler *ch and Rolf Graf *ch (1954 winner). In the sixties, Ghent-Wevelgem was part of the Superprestige Pernod - contemporary version of the World Tour - and that's how even a GT champion such as Jacques Anquetil *fr came to win it. From then on, Ghent-Wevelgem was really considered a classic.

    In 1990, the UCI decided to cut short its distance to circa 200 km and the race thereby also lost several climbs in France. Since 2014, the race has been extended to circa 240/250 km with 9 climbs and since 2017, the "Plugstreets" 4 km dirt roads have been added. "Plugstreets" is an English name coming from British World War I soldiers who could not pronounce Ploegsteert correctly, Ploegsteert being a French-speaking town close to the Belgian language border, historically a Flemish town and hometown of the Vandenbroucke family.
     



    Sep Vanmarcke did the testing on the Plugstreets along with Jens Debusschere and Maxime Farazijn.

    The Kemmelberg, highest point of West Flanders, was the setting of a major 1918 battle :

    During World War I, it was the location of one of the war's most ferocious battles. Because of its strategic importance, it was fiercely fought in the Fourth Battle of Ypres. On 25 April 1918, German imperial forces, hoping to force a breakthrough to the North Sea, started attacking the French troops on the Kemmelberg with gas grenades. At 6 a.m. the German Alpenkorps seized and captured the Kemmelberg, causing allied troops to withdraw from all the hills in the region. Thousands of French soldiers were slaughtered. Several streets and army barracks in Germany were named after this event (Kemmel-Privatweg in Magdeburg, Kemmelkaserne in Murnau). Friedrich Bertram Sixt von Armin and Prince Franz of Bavaria were commanders, but Karl Höfer was celebrated as hero of Kemmelberg - the Held vom Kemmelberge.[1] It was recaptured during the Battle of the Peaks of Flanders in late September 1918, as a precursor to the Armistice of 11 November 1918.



    At the western foot of the hill, there is a large war cemetery, the Kemmel Number 1 French Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, with the remains of more than 5.000 French soldiers. At the top of the Kemmelberg there is a commemorative war memorial, the Monument aux soldats français, constructed in 1932 and inaugurated by French general and war hero Lacappelle. The memorial column is 17 meter high and depicts the Roman victory goddess Victoria. In the area, the monument is colloquially called "The Angel".
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kemmelberg



    Just like last year, Ghent-Wevelgem does not start from Ghent but from Ypres, because of the coronavirus pandemic. It doesn't really matter since Ypres is a beautiful town, though was also destroyed during World War I and rebuilt in the 1920's




    (This is the Menenpoort through which the peloton is passing)




    The Favourites according to Today Cycling :

    :*:*:* Wout van Aert
    :*:* Pascal Ackermann, Sam Bennett, Davide Ballerini
    :* Arnaud Démare, Greg van Avermaet, Mads Pedersen, Michael Matthews, Jasper Stuyven, Tim Merlier, Oliver Naesen, Yves Lampaert, Sonny Colbrelli, Alexander Kristoff, Cees Bol, John Degenkolb
    https://todaycycling.com/le-parcours-complet-et-les-favoris-de-gand-wevelgem-2021/


    Ghent-Wevelgem is streamed on Eurosport 1 at 2.20pm CET and on L'Équipe TV as well. The Women's race can be seen (highlights?) at 5pm.

    Provisional startlist :

    Spoiler (hover to show)

    Edit : Spoiler is because of the length.  ;)


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  • « Last Edit: March 27, 2021, 18:20 by Echoes »

    Echoes

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    So Philippe Gilbert missed Milan-Sanremo ! It would have been quite hard to win with age but it's the only so-called Monument missing on his palmares. Perhaps he got an opportunity to win Ghent-Wevelgem which is also missing on his palmares. His best place is 3rd to Eisel and Vanmarcke in 2010. This being said, he also never won the E3 Harelbeke but though curently more coveted, this one is a less historical classic.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Excellent info there Echoes.
    I'll just fill in the live coverage options for you, so that I can pinch some of your stuff for elsewhere! :lol
    Be aware that with clocks moving forward this evening, various programme grids have different schedules, adding to the confusion.

    First up Eén (that's Sporza in other words) They have two blocks of live coverage, much like the Ronde used to have until recently.
    9-15am to 11-00am CET, for pre race chat, signing on, the roll out and early kms.
    Men's race: 13-30pm to approx 16-45pm CET. GCN/Eurosport player are the same as Sporza.
    Women's race: 16-45pm to 19-00pm CET. Live coverage on GCN/Eurosport/Sporza
    La Une. (Belgium in French) 13-35pm to 16-45pm CET.
    L'Equipe.13-30pm to 16-20pm CET. Not sure here.

    Eurosport 1 tv  timings will be subject to the finish of Catalunya. So, as Echoes says starts around the 2-20/30pm CET mark, then follows the streaming options.

    I will come straight out and say this: but I am not happy about the men's race taking place through Sunday lunchtime and the women's race taking the prime viewing slot.
    This also means it now clashes with two other men's races. (Catalunya and Cholet)
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  • « Last Edit: March 28, 2021, 07:58 by Mellow Velo »

    Echoes

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    Thanks for the additional info, MV. I often get confused with coverage schedules, whether clocks are moving or not.  :D
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  • t-72

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    Can I add to things to this thread?

    I watched E3 recorded and the first guy to appear on the live images was #unox Markus Hoelgaard with a flat tire just as the pace picked up and the finale started. Excellent teamwork to bring him back up and excellent work by Markus to eventually finish in 8th position, ahead of Wout van Aert.
    For a world Tour debut for both rider and team: better than expected, and fun to watch a Norwegian classics rider that isn´t primarily just hanging on for the sprint finish. Markus is  more active in making the race than 2 older guys finishing way down on the list  this Friday.

    #unox is doing great, but then....this  :-x :

    https://twitter.com/cycling_memes1/status/1375776777717620740
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  • « Last Edit: March 27, 2021, 21:44 by t-72 »

    Mellow Velo

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    Thanks for the additional info, MV. I often get confused with coverage schedules, whether clocks are moving or not.  :D

    Turns out so was I! :fp  ;)
    Corrected to the new timings, meaning everything is pushed back one hour.
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  • AG

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    lol.

    it did make me go check my local timing though ... which was good as it is a little earlier than I thought
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  • Drummer Boy

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    It turns out that when the strongest rider is the strongest...well.

    Gent-Wevelgem 2021 finish


    As the comments (always!) mention, you'd think they'd figure out by now that NOBODY wants the spoiler in the title. :fp
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  • Echoes

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    Your video is not working for me, is it geoblocked?

    But I sure like it when the strongest wins and God knows I enjoyed that race. The peloton shattered to pieces even before I tuned in. I still remember that packed peloton procession in the noughties, Boonen winning, not a single attack possible as Quick Step controlled everything. It was nice weather, so it doesn't seem that that weather conditions could play a role. Or how windy was it? Really one of the best editions of Ghent-Wevelgem I've ever seen and I saw quite a few of them.
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  • AG

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    apparantly there was a bit of wind ... not as much as some of the epic races of a few years back, but enough to assist with the initial splits and then to allow attackers and advantage.

    it was a very entertaining race.  Always fun to watch when things are happening and there is nice attacking racing.

    Van Aert certainly deserved to win.  He made all the moves and was the one pushing everything.  He had a team mate in with him which was pretty crucial at times.  Nearly dropped on the last climb, but doggedly made it back on, and saved the race for Van Aert in pace setting and checking attacks in the finale.

    Great race.  Great Win.  Happy days
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  • Echoes

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    I realise one thing. Wout van Aert and Philippe Gilbert have now won all classics between themselves, Van Aert Milan-Sanremo and Ghent-Wevelgem and Gilbert all the other ones.  :D

    Just a joke but not a good news for Phil as he still hasn't fully recovered from his knee injury.  :(
    https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/philippe-gilbert-out-of-tour-of-flanders-with-physical-and-mental-fatigue/
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Going to pop this in here, as we've a bit of time in between races and it's something to mull over.

    Tour of Flanders 2021 odds (Winner- Oddschecker)

    Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix – 13/5
    Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma – 22/5
    Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 12/1
    Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 21/1
    Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe – 31/1
    Zdeněk Štybar (Cze) Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 33/1
    Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM – 40/1
    Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 40/1
    Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 47/1
    Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates – 49/1
    Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo - 59/1
    Jasper Stuyvan (Bel) Trek-Segafredo - 59/1
    Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Ag2r-Citroën - 59/1
    Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates - 74/1
    Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie - 80/1
    Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo -  119/1


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  • AG

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    I realise one thing. Wout van Aert and Philippe Gilbert have now won all classics between themselves, Van Aert Milan-Sanremo and Ghent-Wevelgem and Gilbert all the other ones.  :D

    Just a joke but not a good news for Phil as he still hasn't fully recovered from his knee injury.  :(
    https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/philippe-gilbert-out-of-tour-of-flanders-with-physical-and-mental-fatigue/

    hmm - I dont think either of them have E3.   

    and very sad about Phil pulling out of Flanders.  :(   Hope he is back for the Ardennes, but he needs to recover fully if he has any chance of taking on the big boys.
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  • AG

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    and it will be very interesting to see what happens with Bouhanni.   

    https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/nacer-bouhanni-facing-disciplinary-action-after-dangerous-conduct-in-cholet-sprint/

    he has a history ... and deviated a LONG way off his line.  Pretty similar to the Grenewegan incident, so it is no wonder UCI are investigating.    They will need to give him 9 months for consistency, no matter that the consequences were not the same.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    76th Dwars door Vlaanderen - A travers la Flandre: Roeselare › Waregem (184.1k)


     Next race in is up tomorrow: Across Flanders
    Traditionally Dwars door Vlaanderen was held four days after Milan–San Remo and a week and a half before the Tour of Flanders. As from 2018 the race moved up one week on the international calendar and is now contested on the Wednesday before the Tour of Flanders. Footing the bill for this move was the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde and some might say riders looking to hone their form over +400kms as opposed to the 180 now on offer.
     Dwars door Vlaanderen takes in thirteen hills and four stretches of pavé, all packed together in the second part of the race. The opener is relatively easy and the first ‘helling’ appears after approximately 70 kilometres. The riders tackle the Kluisberg from both sides within 35 kilometres and climbs the Nieuwe Kwaremont in between.
     Despite annual changes, some of the regular climbs in the race are the Taaienberg, Kruisberg and Côte de Trieu. The top of the last climb, Nokereberg, comes at 11 km from the finish.

    Dwars door Vlaanderen starts at 12.15 and the race is expected to finish around 16.45 – both are local times (CET).





    Dwars door Vlaanderen is a final test before Sunday’s big showdown. But not all big guns are showing up. Van Aert is taking a well earned rest, while Van der Poel and Alaphilippe, do start in Dwars door Vlaanderen.
    Although originally on the startlist, it remains uncertain (unlikely?)as to whether the Trek duo of Mads Pedersen and Jasper Stuyven can race: Bora are out.

    Previous winners

        2019  *nl VAN DER POEL Mathieu
        2018  *be LAMPAERT Yves
        2017  *be LAMPAERT Yves
        2016  *be DEBUSSCHERE Jens
        2015  *be WALLAYS Jelle
        2014  *nl TERPSTRA Niki
        2013  *it GATTO Oscar
        2012  *nl TERPSTRA Niki
        2011  *be NUYENS Nick
        2010  *dk BRESCHEL Matti



    Favourites 2021 Dwars door Vlaanderen

    :*:*:*:*:* Mathieu van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe
    :*:*:*:* Yves Lampaert, Mads Pedersen, Jasper Stuyven, Oliver Naesen
    :*:*:*  Stefan Küng, Matteo Trentin, Florian Sénéchal, Greg Van Avermaet,
    :* :* Søren Kragh Andersen, Dylan van Baarle, Anthony Turgis, Kasper Asgreen
    :* Tim Wellens, Davide Ballerini, Giacomo Nizzolo, Iván García Cortina, Thomas Pidcock




    Post Merge: March 31, 2021, 08:47
    Good news.
    Both Trek and Bora-Hansgrohe have been given the green-light to ride Dwars door Vlaanderen.
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  • « Last Edit: March 31, 2021, 08:47 by Mellow Velo, Reason: Merged DoublePost »

    Servais Knavendish

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    Echoes how do I pronounce the start town - is it phonetically Ross-eh-lari; a harder Roz-eh-lari; surely not like the Irish port of 'Ross-laire'  ???

    Sorry always puzzles me - had a fine meal there once on Flanders Eve...
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  • LukasCPH

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    Echoes how do I pronounce the start town - is it phonetically Ross-eh-lari; a harder Roz-eh-lari; surely not like the Irish port of 'Ross-laire'  ???

    Sorry always puzzles me - had a fine meal there once on Flanders Eve...
    Neither of those, really - remember that OE is pronounced U in Dutch/Flemish:
    https://forvo.com/word/roeselare/#nl
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  • Servais Knavendish

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    Thanks Lukas - perfect
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  • Echoes

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    Yes, that's right "OE", you pronounce "OO" or "U" in Dutch, just like in VAN DER POEL !  :cool

    The A is just a long that you can pronounce just like today's winner's name "DYLAN VAN BAARLE". The final "E" is silent, the way I usually pronounce it.


    By the way the French name for that town is "Roulers". That should be eaiser to pronounce.  :D
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  • Echoes

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    By the way, Roeselare also was the hometown of Jean-Pierre Monseré and track great Patrick Sercu (both sorely missed !).  Really Belgium's cycling heartland!

    There you have the "Koersmuseum", so a Cycling Museum, which is relatively small compared to the one in Oudenaarde. I went there in 2018 and bought a small book about Cyrille Van Hauwaert.  :)



    You still have a beautiful fresco representing Jempi Monseré, shortly after he was World Champion in 1970 (it's still there !)

    (my own picture  ;))

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  • LukasCPH

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    By the way, Roeselare also was the hometown of Jean-Pierre Monseré and track great Patrick Sercu (both sorely missed !).  Really Belgium's cycling heartland!

    There you have the "Koersmuseum", so a Cycling Museum, which is relatively small compared to the one in Oudenaarde. I went there in 2018 and bought a small book about Cyrille Van Hauwaert.  :)
    Ah yes, I went there back in 2007, cycling from Brugge. Good times - though the way back on the N32 against a northwesterly wind was hard! :)
    I remember looking to my left towards Hooglede-Gits, venue of many a 'cross race.
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