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Flamme Rouge

We introduce you the Flamme Rouge. The peloton has gone from band of brothers to angry swarm. Everyone is fighting for space, everyone is fighting for a wheel. Forget any notions of solidarity. This is elbows-out war. This is the last kilometer. This is the Flamme Rouge. “Speed?” remarked Jackie Stewart, a few months after winning the first of his three Formula 1 world titles in 1969. “The whole business is the reverse of speed. Speed doesn’t exist for me unless I’m driving poorly. Then things seem to be coming at me quickly instead of passing in slow motion. In…

Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux “The ascension of Mont Ventoux requires seven hours by car, six hours by foot and three and a half for a trained cyclist. The vertiginous descent, freewheeled, on the stoney slopes at 12% is a dangerous acrobacy. I burnt two brakes and a pair of wooden rims. Amateurs beware.“ Those were the words of Adrien Benoît, the first recorded cyclist to ride up the ‘Beast of Provence’. Mont Ventoux is a mountain in the Provence region of southern France, located some 20 km northeast of Carpentras, Vaucluse. Mont Ventoux is older than the Alps and at 1,912m, is…

Paris – Roubaix

The most iconic one day bike race in the world, period. Paris-Roubaix. Famous for it’s cobbles, unpredictability, dirt/dust and that velodrome. The race usually leaves riders caked in mud and grit, from the cobbled roads and rutted tracks of northern France’s former coal-mining region. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the terrain places an unbelievable strain on the riders and bikes but this is not how this race earned the name ‘l’enfer du Nord’, or ‘Hell of the North’. The term was used to describe the route of the race after World War I. Organisers and journalists set off from…

Tour of Flanders

“It’s not a race but a war game” (Bernard Hinault). The Tour of Flanders (also known as De Ronde, “The Tour”), is held in Belgium every spring. It’s the most important cycling race in Flanders, and one of the five monuments of cycling. First held in 1913, the Tour of Flanders had its 100th edition in 2016. There is an inextricable link between cycling in Flanders and Flemish nationalism. The one major Belgian race, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, is in the French-speaking South. The sportspaper, Sportwereld, not only wanted to publish a Flemish nationalist newspaper but also conducted a 10-year war with the…

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