Today we will see the Tour in Geraardsbergen and experience the electric atmosphere and enjoy some fries and mayo, a Belgium tradition.
Kapelmuur and Grand Départ
With a hint of excitement, we eat our breakfast and prepare ourselves for a day on the bike and watching the race. Our main ride will challenge us on the same ascent as the professionals – the Kapelmuur. Our 40 km ride from our hotel finishes in Geraardsbergen. You could finish your ride here where we’ll watch the race pass, or take our longer ride option and ride back an additional 50 km, to our hotel testing out some of the bergs used in the Belgium classics.
We’ll chaperone our non-riders to Geraardsbergen and experience Belgium hospitality in the village before watching the race come through. The atmosphere will be electric and fans will have their quota of fries and mayo. Expect to see Eddy Merckx impersonators wearing woolen Molteni jerseys in bicycles of the era. A crowd pleaser before you’ll see the hungry peloton compete for the lead of the polka-dot competition. A great way to introduce us to the Tour de France.
Once back at our hotel, we can see the closing moments of the race on television and visit the Ronde van Vlaanderen cycling museum if you would like to before heading out to a local restaurant for dinner. The village has a fine historic square surrounded by beautiful buildings. Our hotel is just a short walk.
TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 1: Bruxelles to Bruxelles, Flat, 192 km
A key moment on today’s stage is Muur van Geraardsbergen, also known as the Kapelmuur. A cobbled climb to a picturesque church through a narrow forest path made famous by the Ronde van Vlaanderen (RVV, Tour of Flanders) race. It was momentarily excluded from RVV before organisers and fans lobbied to include the steep grades of the muur again. By the finish of today’s stage, the climb will select a polka-dot leader and once over the climb, it will come down to a final sprint in Brussels for the yellow.