The Gent-Wevelgem is a road cycling race that has been held every year in Belgium since 1934. It has consistently been run in late March on the last Sunday before the older and more well-known Tour of Flanders race. This year the Gent-Wevelgem will take place on Sunday, March 25th. The race itself is usually between 140 and 160 miles. If you live in one of the areas where it is being broadcast, you are all set. If you don’t or you are traveling, you’ll need to use a VPN. This will help you get around any geo-restrictions.
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There are a few different broadcasters that are providing coverage for the race.
Sporza – Dutch language broadcast that is specific to Belgium.
EuroSport – English language broadcast in Europe.
L’equipe – French broadcast.
RTBF – French broadcast limited to Belgium.
TDP – Spanish broadcast limited to Spain.
As you can see, there are several ways to watch the race live.
Though this race is considered to be relatively short when compared to others, it is not an easy race to cycle through. Cyclists have to deal with the weather conditions of March in Belgium. Those often include crosswinds and rain. Additionally, they have to deal with two steep climbs (up to a 23% grade) up a fully cobbled road to the top of a hill called the Kemmelberg. The descent is also difficult. The course adds an area called the “plugstreets”. These are semi-paved gravel roads. It is not hard to see how quickly this race could become a trial.
Another thing that makes this race interesting is the history behind the area. There are several monuments commemorating different events throughout the course. World War I monuments dot the countryside. Those include Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing to commemorate the Christmas Truce of 1914, the Menin Gate, the Flanders Fields Memorial, and even the city of Ypres.
The race has been run almost every year since 1934. Of course, it was not run from 1940-1944 because of World War II. Until 1979, there had only been 4 non-Belgians to win the race. Since then, there have been other racers from different parts of the world win. Belgians still do well, but the race is no longer dominated by them.
Since 2012, a women’s version of the event has been run. It is held on the same day as the men’s event, but it features a shorter course of 120km (about 74.5 miles). Oddly enough, there has never been a Belgian to win it. The race has been included in the UCI Women’s WorldTour since 2016.
If you are a fan of cycling, you will love this one. If you have friends that love bicycle racing, please share this post with them so they can watch the Gent-Wevelgem along with you. Follow us on Twitter @VPNFan For the latest VPN news and deals.