What makes this event unique?
Put simply, The Flanders Fields Sportive has it all. The 180km course is a unique, 1 lap affair taking in everything the historic west coast of Belgium has to offer. Starting in the stunning seaside town of Nieuwpoort riders head south following the World War 1 front line toward Ypres and the sobering Menin Gate. The route is beseeched by monuments and cemeteries from both Wars which pay respect to those who lost their lives fighting for freedom. The Menin Gate alone is a tribute to over 55,000 soldiers whose remains were never found, and hosts the Last Post every evening at 8pm. From the Black Streets (which soldiers used during the war to travel) to meticulously preserved trenches, there is a true sense of pride and remembrance associated with this event with athletes able to pay their respects across numerous sites on route. Yser Tower, Tynne Cot Cemetery and the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing are all part of this memorable journey. For the avid race fans, the course covers a large section of the annual Pro Gent-Wevelgem race, which attracts the worlds top professionals to Flanders Fields. It's your chance to follow in your hero's footsteps attempting the famous "cobble streets" and the celebrated "camels back."
The general perception is that Flanders Fields is a flat region, however, as you will find out, this is certainly not the case. The hills around Kemmelberg, Monteberg, Baneberg, and Zwarteberg provide a true test of stamina and determination to even the most skilled riders. For the final notable climb on the route back to Nieuwpoort, athletes enter France to tackle the notorious Catsberg.
Both the 90km and 45km are also 1 loop courses taking in many of the aforementioned sites with all distances starting and finishing in Nieuwpoort city centre next to the Yser River and the King Albert War Memorial.
If you have an "A Game" event in the tank this year make sure it's the Flanders Fields Sportive!