Tour of Flanders

TSH Guide to Flanders

By Anne Hero and Luke Hero

Bike races take a long time to start and run for about six hours. TSH thought we would write a small guide for the in-between times at belgian’s biggest race, the Ronde Van Vlaanderen

We started the day in Oudenaarde and dropped by the RVV museum. The best thing is the bikes, and the old jerseys, and the bar upstairs, and the gift shop, and getting lost, and, and, and standing with your peers.

Good wishes to Jolien D’hoore, 2012 Belgian National Road Race Champion. We asked her to SMIL for the camera.

Women’s start: Check. You have some time before the men arrive, so duck into The Neuhaus Cafe and experiment with your camera’s depth of field-oh for about an hour!

Sport your favorite new TSH jersey, and race some strangers in one of the sponsor’s tents on the promenade. Fabian Cancellara should try out these plaid arm warmers.

When you win or lose, be gracious, smile and try to avoid being Peter Sagan. Do not pinch anyone but yourself.

Get lost again, and follow your new friends through the fields of Flanders to the backyard bars. ’Op uw gezondheid!’

When you see some young Belgian boys, possibly drunk and carrying Flandrien sausage in cardboard boxes, scream like you have never screamed before. With no luck at all they will toss many a package your way.

Look at the soles of your shoes caked with mud and manure, just because you can.

Whether it’s your first Flanders or you’re an experienced fan, jump some ditches and run for the next berg. Allez! Allez!