Day 2: Tour of Flanders
The single most important sporting event in Belgium, the Ronde van Vlaanderen turns 99 years old this year. It’s one of the monuments of cycling and a symbol of Flemish national culture. No other race combines terrain, weather, rider strength, strategy, and team play. This is the race that every Belgian cyclist dreams of winning. The 260 kilometers of this route are laced with 18 “bergs”, or short, steep, cobbled Flemish hills that suck your energy like a sieve. If the 21% cobbled Koppenberg doesn’t defeat you, perhaps eight minutes of pure climbing hell on the Oude Kwaremont will reduce you to tears.