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TOP 5: Cobbled Sportives

by Nick Gregory

4) Tour of Flanders Cyclo

First held in 1913, the Tour of Flanders - or 'Ronde van Vlaanderen' to cycling aficionados - is the biggest race in the sport's spiritual home: the rugged landscape of Flanders.

Much like the Tour de France, a newspaper - Sportwereld - created the race. Climbs such as the Koppenberg, Kwaremont, Paterberg and Muur have been immortalised in cycling lore, along with the exploits of those riders who have conquered them. The race even has its own museum, in Oudenaarde, a small town on the race route.  

If you fancy taking on both the elements and the cobbles, whilst soaking up the atmosphere amongst cycling's most passionate fans, the annual Tour of Flanders Cyclo takes place over the same route as the pros the day before. 

"Flying down the last kilometre most broke into a sprint to the official finish line, ending a pretty epic days riding. Back at the HQ there was plenty going on, but first things first: Beer and frites. Relaxing in the sunshine with a selection of Belgium's finest brews topped the day off perfectly." 

"It is hard to find any fault with the sportive itself, and Oudenaarde is a lovely town and an inexpensive place to visit, unlike the more tourist-oriented Bruges. With the weather playing ball it really was a fantastic days riding, and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone. This is one I guarantee I will return to on occasion for years to come; it was just possibly the best cycling weekend I've experienced." 

Read Sean Lacey's full review of the Tour of Flanders Sportive HERE.

Sean tackles a cobbled climb 

Ronde van Calderdale...

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