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  • 15-03-2023 6:58pm
    Registered Users Posts: 533 ✭✭✭

    I’m looking for some recommendations of good spots to watch the race on the Sunday. There’s a few of us cycling on the Saturday and then planning to catch some of the racing on Sunday. We have a flight back home late-ish on Sunday from Brussels, so would need to leave some time to drive back to airport. I’ve some experience of Belgian traffic at normal times and am thinking it could be horrendous after the finish?

    Could anyone recommend a good spot to view with a relatively easier exit towards Brussels afterwards?


  • Registered Users Posts: 16 JoeFloyd

    If you’ve never been before, get yourself up the Oude Kwaramont. It’s like Glastonbury/all ireland final for cycling - serious party vibe. You get to see the women’s race (twice I think), then the men’s 3 times. We were about 200 meters up from the spot where bettiol attacked in 2019. Plenty of chip vans selling food and beer. Shuttle busses up from oudenaarde.

    the only issue we had was getting back to oudenaarde after - it’s a serious melee for the busses. If you have bikes, take them over and that’s an easy spin back, where you can catch the train to the airport pretty easily.

    our plan this year is to take the bikes in to oudenaarde - watch the women’s race roll out, then get to a couple of hills to see the action - before coming back to oudenaarde for the finish. We’re about 12 miles away, and not coming home till Monday - so the ‘taking the bikes in’ plan may be scuppered by Belgian beers.

    riding the sportive the day before - but if you are about for a few days, there’s not much to stop you pedaling around the course and taking in the atmosphere. That’s what we did last time. Some of the more famous bergs are closed from Friday though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16 JoeFloyd

    Actually - just re-read your post - if you’re driving, it is a bit of a mare on most of the roads afterwards. Best plan would probably be to park up near one of the outlying towns that has a train station into oudenaarde. We have a van with our bikes, but like I say, not driving home till Monday.

  • Registered Users Posts: 533 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    Cheers - some good tips there. Been looking into it some more and I think you’re right to leave car in another town and get train out after.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,143 ✭✭✭Benny Cake

    Trying to figure out the best thing to do. We're staying in brussells so will be travelling over and back to oudennarde, should we rent a car or get the train, not sure we can carry bikes on the train? Any advice appreciated for this flanders newbie!

  • Registered Users Posts: 16 JoeFloyd

    last time, we took the train early morning from Geraardsbergen to Oudenaarde on race day. I don't recall it being overly busy, but we didn't bring our bikes that time (in favour of getting well beered up), so I'm not sure how it would pan out coming from Brussels, with bikes. Depends on how many of you there are I suppose, as well as what time you go. and I'd say the issue might be getting back after, moreso than getting there in the morning.

    As with driving, I think getting to one of the outlier towns might be best. We're staying in Zottegem this time, and it looks like a 15-20km cycle, but there's also a train station. I think we plan to take our bikes in on sunday, to give that freedom to move about a bit - so we have the option to cycle in, or get the train if its not too busy and they are allowing bikes on it. The race actually passes near where we are staying, but I think you'd want to be in oudennarde or on one of the showpiece bergs to really appreciate the spectacle.

    buzzed to be going over next week anyway, always bump into a bunch of irish there.

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