Friday, September 22, 2023

Euro 2024 will be held in Limburg, on a route for men’s classics and sprinters

The Euro is quite young at the professional level. The first edition took place in 2016, in France, a country that has hosted this event twice. Like Holland. Belgium has never organized it yet (for the professionals). But this will be the case next year: the 2024 edition will be held between Heusden-Zolder, where the 14 races will begin, and Hasselt, where all the races will end. “It is important for a cycling country like ours to regularly organize major championships and the European one is clearly one of them,” commented Tom Van Damme, president of the Belgian Federation, this Monday, in Hasselt, during the official presentation of the event. , scheduled for September 11 to 15. “We have already organized quite a few and we have other projects in our sights.”

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This 2024 European Championship, scheduled for September 11-15, is also the result of a collaboration between Flanders Classic and Limburg Demarreert. “Since 2021 we have joined forces within the framework of the Tour of Limburg,” says Tomas Van Den Spiegel, director of the Flanders Classic (Tour of Flanders, Nieuwsblad, Ghent-Wevelgem)… “After the success of the World Championship organized in Belgium in 2021, Belgium will host another great cycling event. This time in the province of Limburg. It’s good to show that it’s not just about the Tour of Flanders or the Liège coast for cycling in Belgium. “The European Championship has been gaining momentum in recent seasons and, I am convinced, will highlight all the advantages of Limburg for cycling.”


“This course will suit classics specialists, punchers but also sprinters who can withstand the cobbles.”

What will the trip be like in a year? “It will be selective without being as selective as, for example, the Ronde,” replies Tomas Van Den Spiegel. “It will be suitable for classic specialties and therefore for Belgians, but also for punchers. Or the sprinters who can pass the cobblestones, the wind, like Jasper Philipsen or Arnaud De Lie.”

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Words confirmed by Wim Van Herreweghe, the designer of the course. “Our desire was to have for our route a combination of an urban circuit, in Hasselt, and the specificities of the region outside the city. With paved sectors and small hills on a thirty-kilometer route to be covered three times.”

This loop will take place after three and a half laps of the local circuit, in Hasselt. Before returning there, for a lap and a half, in the last part of the race, which has a total of 220 kilometers and a gradient of 1,273 meters. With three ascents from Kolmontberg to Tongres (a climb of 800 meters, an average gradient of 4.5%) and as many from Zammelenberg to Kortessem (a climb of 800 meters at an average gradient of 4.3%) adding to the steps from Printhagendreef, a 400-meter paved route in the Kortessem area. The peloton will also pass the cobbled sector three times from Manshoven to Borgloon (1,300 meters) and three times from Op de Kriezel to Heers (1,550 meters). “With the street circuit, at the start and finish, there will be a festive Championship atmosphere, while the circuit towards Tongeren and Borgloon will allow the riders to battle the cobbles, the wind and the risk of borders and small hills. ”adds Wim Van Herreweghe. “I see the arrival of a small group of about ten strong men competing for victory.”

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The Euro 2024 route profile for men. ©Euro 2024 Limburg

Present this Monday in Hasselt, former world champion Johan Museeuw, for his part, does not rule out a large peloton at the finish line. “And a real sprint, which is also good, we also need big events for sprinters,” says the DH-Les Sports consultant. “This Limburg tour is well balanced and will show that in Belgium not everything is a simple copy of the Tour of Flanders.”

The time trial route will be mainly flat, often with long straight lines.

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