- Belgium might be flat and small, but it is a global cycling epicentre.
- Some of the world's most iconic races happen at Belgian venues.
- And a Belgian cycling initiative is trying to help rebuild the renowned Jagger Library at UCT.
Eddie Merckx is the greatest ever cyclist and Flandrian pave produces the most dramatic single-day road racing. Both Belgian – and not by accident.
Despite lacking the rolling terrain or towering mountain of France, Spain or Italy, Belgium resonates enormous cultural influence and energy throughout the cycling world.
The Flandrien spirit is a recognized epithet in cycling. It encapsulates the Belgian style of riding – always suffering, never complaining. Even when a rider’s hands are numb from rolling across the cobblestoned pave, a Flandrien remains undeterred and always ready to attack.
There is also a charitable side to this Belgian riding resolve. After the tragic UCT fire and loss of its main library, Belgian universities initiated a funding drive to help rebuild the Jagger.
Look good - do good
The Move4CPT project links fundraising to activity. The University of Leuven suffered its own tragic fires in 1914 and 1940. Leuven is part of the famous Paris-Roubaix race route and authorities there created a programme that pairs a Euro for each kilometre that registered riders are moving in its Move4CPT project.
So far, 84 registered participants have ridden 38 286km. That has generated R180 000, with efforts ongoing. Local riders also have an opportunity to get involved, thanks to bicyclegear.
A South African domiciled cycling apparel manufacturer and distributor, bicyclegear is owned and operated by a Belgian couple who have been in Cape Town for fifteen years. Inspired by the Move4CPT initiative, bicyclegear designed a new jersey with Belgian and South African themes.
Featuring all the fabric technologies you would expect from a premium cycling jersey, such as double-wicking material aero-vent underarm panels, 10% of this new jersey’s revenue will go to Move4CPT.
Bicyclegear will be marketing its new jersey at R999, and you can buy it online – or through their network of national retailers.