Hellingen van de Ronde

Only time for a short post today, but here’s something to keep you busy: the website for the Ronde Van Vlaanderen Sportif has links to the specifics of each col along the race route—paved and cobbled. There’s even a photo to accompany each berg.

Which is your favorite? Post a comment to let us all know.

The RVV Sportif is something to consider if you have the time and the means. Taking place the day before the race itself, the Ronde Sportif offers three routes each for road and mountain bikes. Choosing the 256km full course option gives you the perfect opportunity to test yourself against the same course as the pros. In some cases, riders have even been known to send people out to ride the course on Saturday with the intent of getting last-minute information about course and wind conditions for the day to follow. I forget the rider and the year (please remind me if you know), but I specifically recall one race winner saying he knew he’d have a tailwind after the Bosberg because of a tip he received from an amateur who rode the course the day preceding.

While I have not yet completed the Ronde Sportif (although it’s on my list), I have ridden several of the hills during my Belgian days. Last year, Fred Dreier from Velonews completed the full course. You can read about his experience here.

About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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