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Wheelers Bound for Flanders this weekend

posted 29 Mar 2011, 07:52 by Kevin Monaghan
By Sarah Piner
This weekend sees the largest raiding party of Wheelers to leave these shores since the 2008 trip to "La Marmotte" in the French Alps. This time, 18 of our finely honed athletes will depart for the famous cobbled roadways of Belgium to take part in the "Tour of Flanders".

This historic event is staged each year on the day preceding the professional race on the same circuit which is famous for its 17 torturous climbs and is one of the most famous One Day Classic races on the professional calendar. Unlike the Alpine climbs, the Flanders hills are shortish in length but at times they regularly reach gradients from 15 to 20%. Throw the punishing cobbles or pave into the mix and you have an event that for some strange reason, attracts 17,000 cyclists or, depending on your outlook, sadists, to this Belgian region each year.

The Wheelers will be hoping for some favourable weather as they make their way around the 140KM route and attack famous climbs such as the Koppenberg and the Muur which are notorious for bicycle carnage if it is wet and slippery.

Although the travelling party is too numerous to mention, they are indebted to Robbie Kenny who has once again agreed to take the ferry and ensure the safe passage of the all important bikes. It is hoped to have a further report with some photos from the trip in the coming weeks but for now, we wish a safe and enjoyable trip to all concerned.

One of the infamous Flanders climbs - complete with cobbles.