Flanders Classics adds new gravel event to 2021 calendar

The three-day gravel event in the Flemish Ardennes offers three distances.

Flanders Classics announced Thursday the addition of a new event — Flanders Gravel — for July 2, 3, and 4.

“If all goes well we are hoping to welcome participants in Oudenaarde in July for a gravel ride of 80-, 120-, or 160 km,” said Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel.

The three-day event is co-produced by LtD Gravel Rides, an organization founded by retired pro, Laurens ten Dam.

“Gravel rides are not only cycling events that combine the best parts of road cycling and cyclocross, they are true total experiences,” said ten Dam. “After the trip, I hope we will get to relax at the bonfire with a cool beer in our hands, some music in the background, and all of that at a unique setting.”

Should Flanders Gravel need to be rescheduled due to health and safety concerns, it will be scheduled for October 16 – 18, 2021.

“Alternative dates have been reserved to move the event to 16, 17, and 18 October if necessary. The aim is to safely enjoy a weekend in which the bike will undoubtedly take the center stage and to enjoy the vibe that is so typical of gravel rides,” said Van Den Spiegel. “We hope to see light at the end of the tunnel soon…That’s why we are already enthusiastically working on this brand new event.”

With a start in Oudenaarde, Belgium, the parcours is “particularly suited for the gravel lover” in the Flemish Ardennes. Riders will be in the shadow of the Koppenberg and the Oude Kwaremont for the final day, and a finish festival is planned, COVID safety permitting.

Those who purchase a weekend pass will also be afforded prioritization for a tent-camping site for festivities on Friday evening.

Riders who are interested in the three-day gravel event in Belgium can explore more details and register at the Flanders Classics web site.