Chasing cobblestones in Limburg
After sipping your pre-ride coffee at Café Coureur you are ready for a perfect cycling day in Limburg. The rolling countryside of South Limburg offers you a stunning landscape, but… you have to earn it. You ride towards the Circuit of Zolder, a cycling temple hosting World Championships in road racing, cyclo cross and BMX since 1963. Further down you pass Bike Valley, a cycling industry cluster with renowned brands as Bioracer, Ridley and Lazer Sport, gathered around a unique low-speed wind tunnel. When heading back south, the route offers you a classic final, with various cobbled sections and short climbs. You ride along castles and beautiful orchards. It’s going to be tough, but the more rewarding. Once you get back at Café Coureur, a perfectly chilled cycling beer awaits you.
Treeyards, neatly landscaped with hawthorn gardens, an impressive farmstead and extensive meadows. The Manshoven cobble section is located in one of the most beautiful places of Haspengouw. The first 500m are as straight as an arrow and relatively fast, But about halfway you turn right and you get a solid climb of 300m. Then you descend to the village of Heks (witch in English).
Op de Kriezel
From the village of Hopmaal you take 'Op de Kriezel'. This 1400m long cobblestone road is one of Limburg's toughest segments. In the past, the strip was even twice as long. The cobbles are relatively small, but the potholes in the road surface make it difficult. The strip is slightly uphill and in the open field you have no shelter for the wind. During passages of cycling races, the peloton is often split into small groups. This section is part of the Tour of Limburg.
From the village of Piringen you can see the Kolmontberg already emerging. This climb is 700m long and has an average grade of 4.5%. The hardest part is the first 300m of the climb, then the climb goes steadily to the top. The Kolmontberg is part of the final local laps of the Tour of Limburg.
In the Printhagendreef you can choose between a concrete bike path or the 400m long cobblestone road. But of course, a real Flandrien always rides the cobbles. The strip is slightly downhill, so you can go really fast on this one. Check out the impressive castle farm on your left.