Wheelers Visit Flanders for the "Ronde"

Post date: Apr 09, 2018 11:41:9 AM

(by Shay O'Toole - Sun. 9th April 2018):

The months of March and April are renowned in cycling for some of the best races of the entire year. These are affectionately known as the Spring Classics or Monuments and are predominantly staged in Belgium.

Chief among this series of races is the Tour of Flanders which is famous for, in no particular order of importance, cobbles, climbs and beer. The Ronde van Vlaanderen as it is called in Belgian is a beast of a race which starts in Antwerp and 275km later finishes in Oudenarde. During this torturous distance it traverses some of the most feared sections of cobbles in bike racing and sees the peloton struggle with some of the steepest gradients in Europe.

For the amateur riders there is a sportive version of the Ronde held on the Saturday preceding the professional race and this year Lakeside Wheelers was represented by five members who all completed the 175km event. Jack Nugent, Robbie Kenny, Shay O’Toole, Charlie Sheridan and Graham Morgan had an early 7am start but thankfully the weather was dry as they and 16,000 other riders set off to ride some of the most famous roads in cycling.

Over the weekend the lads were guests of De Trudy’s Cycling Club which is based in Gerrardsbergen, the town famous for the climb known as The Muur, or wall. This was only one of 19 climbs which they had to negotiate on the route but by all accounts it was a great day out for the lads. Thanks to our friends at De Trudy’s for some outstanding hospitality and hopefully we will see you again in 2019.

Shay O'Toole, Graham Morgan, Robbie Kenny, Jack Nugent and Charlie Sheridan pictured on the Muur de Gerrardsbergen in Flanders