The Hageland hills, which are lined with rows and rows of vines and fruit trees, provide a stunning rural backdrop for your ride. But the steep hills also make for a gruelling trek requiring you to stand up on your pedals. Just ask Sven Nys, who criss-crossed through the Hageland from his Balenberg during his many training sessions. This route starts from the Sven Nys Cycling Center. Sven Nys himself mapped out this 93-kilometre loop, which follows his favourite training route. A challenging ride, with a few beauty spots en route to take a break.
Mud, sweat and gears: the Flemish love for cyclo-cross
Cyclo-cross is the bastard son of classic cycling. During the October-to-February season, riders splatter through the trails of Flanders, pausing only to dismount and carry their bikes on their shoulders when the hills become too steep or the mud too heavy. Mud is part of the cyclo-cross experience as much as wheels are part of the bike.