January 27, 2021
While 2020 was a year of uncertain outcomes, 2021 should re-introduce some normality of routine. When it comes to the UCI Tour Races, we hope, like you, that all goes according to plan.
As the go-to destination for creatives and cyclists alike, appreciating the origins of sport helps develop a love and understanding of how far its come. While it is difficult to pick a favorite race, we wanted to highlight the inspiration behind a few of our Tour Collection Tees.
The Tour of Flanders or Ronde Van Vlaanderen is a race held in Belgium each year. While tourists often think of Belgium as the land of delicious waffles and chocolate, for cyclists, it means something much greater. For the Flemish people, the Tour of Flanders is a manifestation of their passion for cycling and love of their country.
The Tour of Flanders started in 1913 at the hand of the co-founder of a flemish sports paper, Sportwereld. Common at the time, the co-founder Léon van den Haute organized the race to promote publicity and readership of the newspaper.
At the time of its creation, cycling in Belgium was in a poor state. Accordingly, the Flemish felt it necessary to create a race entirely run on their soil to liberate their people and empower their cities. Through world wars, occupations, and terrain access issues, the Tour of Flanders emerged resolutely. A proper cultural festival and spectacle to behold. Now, undoubtedly due in part to the strong historical link between flemish cycling and nationalism, the race lives on.
The 2021 edition of the race is to commence on Sunday, April 4. The terrain follows a succession of flat, hilly, and cobblestone roads that span the Flemish countryside. The climbs are steep and sometimes cobbled, however shorter than other tour climbs. The steepest of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen climbs is the completely cobbled Koppenberg -- 600 meters of 22% poorly paved narrow road.
As with many classic cycling races, the route has developed and evolved through time. That said, the provinces of East-Flanders and West-Flanders have always presented challenging terrain. No single rider has won more than three times, proving how difficult the race truly is. Taking home a win doesn’t involve being the strongest rider, but requires a mix of tactical strategy, smarts, team support, and luck.
The Tour of Flanders is truly an Iconic race that has withstood the test of time. This year should be, like many before, a spectacle to behold. As the time approaches, don’t hide your excitement, wear it! Explore our Tour Collection, which includes the coveted Flanders t-shirt today.
July 30, 2021
July 22, 2021