Johan Museeuw, nicknamed the Lion of Flanders, climbing the Kapelmuur just 15 kilometers from the finish of the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), which runs again this Sunday. I think this is from his 1998 win. He’s climbing throughout this video, which is set to the tune of the Flemish national anthem (De Vlaamse Leeuw or Flemish Lion). The brutal climb comes after 249 racing kilometers – that’s 155 miles, folks – and includes a pitch of 20 percent. Ouch.
Our buddy Mr. Russell traveled to Belgium this week to ride the cyclosportif over the Flanders course on Saturday. I’m jealous, but wonder if I could even ride that far let alone climb the cobbled steeps.
I can’t wait to see who wins this year. Will it be red hot Cancellara, this year’s quiet Boonen, defending champ Ballan, perennial also-ran Hoste, superstong Gilbert, surprising Chavanel, Italian stallion Pozzatto, the Spaniard Flecha, American contender Hincapie or some dark horse?
I’ll buy a Belgian beverage (of my choice, but a good one) either in the bottle or on draft at the Taphouse in Norfolk for whomever picks the winner first. Picks after midnight Saturday do not count. So who will it be?