Gent-Wevelgem - In Flanders Fields

cycling route Gent - Wevelgem (16)
Known for it’s flat finish, Gent-Wevelgem has earned a name for being one of the most gruelling races for sprinters. This signposted route however, doesn't finish in Wevelgem and neither does it start in Gent. The 84 km loop starts and finishes at the foot of the legendary Kemmelberg in Heuvelland, Flanders. With its 883 altimeters, the route focusses on the area of the West Flemish Hills along the French-Belgian border. Expect difficult terrain, complete with cobbles, plugstreets, hills and unfavourable winds. Resolute in its history, the Gent-Wevelgem navigates a number of the battlefields from the First World War. We asked our friends at Cycling Destination and Fat Pigeon to ride the route. This is their story.

The route step by step



cycling route Gent - Wevelgem (31)

The route of Ghent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields conquers the most important climbs of the ‘Ghent-Wevelgem’ race. The parcours has 2 loops. You can ride the 56k loop with 3 notorious Plugstreets and some steep hills, including a double climb of the Kemmelberg. Just follow the red signposts. But to warm up you can add a 28k loop to Ypres and cycle through the Menin Gate before the real climbing starts.

The first part towards Ypres takes us on typical Flemish roads and rolling countryside. We ride straight through farmland and past ploughed fields. A little further, we are immediately confronted with the facts: two large mine craters. A painful reference to the atrocities of 1917. Before arriving at Ypres, we see the war graves left and right, the theme of the day.

cycling route Gent - Wevelgem (6)

Menin Gate - Ypres

In Ypres, our attention is focused on the Menin Gate. The adjacent wreaths with the famous red poppy flowers move us. Every day at 20:00, wind and weather, the last post is blown here. An impressive ceremony, where the words 'we will remember them' are carried extra.

We turn back to Kemmel, because in the end that's what we came for: for the climbs of this route. We turn right towards the Lettenberg. This is a nice warm-up with 2.5 km in total at a moderate gradient. Shortly after the descent of the Lettenberg comes the Scherpenberg. What is striking is that these climbs and their associated hills lie very open in the landscape. They almost seem a bit lost, among the otherwise slightly undulating field.

cycling route Gent - Wevelgem (11)

Via the back of Sulferberg, we continue through small villages such as charming Westouter. Again and again we see the signs: 'commonwealth graves' or 'French War Cemetery'. We will remember them. Then comes the double bill Schomminkelstraat & Banenberg. Together they form a longer and steeper climb, which ends under the cable car next to a beautiful windmill. Here we climb at 14% for some stretches.

cycling route Gent - Wevelgem (25)
cycling route Gent - Wevelgem (13)


The famous 'plugstreets' near Ploegsteert are next on the menu. The name came about because British soldiers couldn't pronounce Ploegsteert. Here we encounter three nice gravel strips, which provide the necessary spectacle in the race. The monument of the Christmas Truce, at the level of the second strip, silences us. In 1914, this is where the guns fell silent during the Christmas period and the toast was fraternised, as history goes. Football was even said to have been played there, but that has never been confirmed. The memorial wears a shirt of Liverpool football club, but many English, Irish and Scottish clubs lost almost their entire first team in The Great War.


Time for the finale. Kemmelberg

Certainly the Kemmelberg from the north-west side is one to start well. Not only the gradient (up to 17%) but also the cobblestones make this a climb to toil on. The circuit is a kind of turn and turn. You go up Kemmel, then off it, then make a corner in the fields and ride up the difficult side Kemmel again. Then tightly right into the descent to finally conquer Monteberg once more.

cycling route Gent - Wevelgem (18)
cycling route Gent - Wevelgem (20)
cycling route Gent - Wevelgem (32)

Enjoy the view at Monteberg


A well deserved post-ride Picon!

To finish, we park our bike on the terrace of cafe Boutique. If cycling prevails anywhere, it is here. We order a picon-vin-blanc, because that really goes with the territory. We won't soon forget this route. We will remember (them).

cycling route Gent - Wevelgem (2)

A great cycling themed bar at the foot of the Kemmelberg. Perfect for your pre-ride coffee or post-ride beer. Or maybe try the local speciality: Picon.

This bar is owned by former amateur cyclist Pieter and is home to the cycling club 'De Vlammers'. Inside you'll find an original jersey of former Belgian Champion, Herman Van Springel. And they show all the cycling races on television.

Definitely worth a stop!




So you’ve decided what route you’re conquering? Get ready here!


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It is the unofficial capital of Flanders Fields, site of numerous battles during the First World War. The “City of Peace” still commemorates these events daily, at the In Flanders Fields Museum and under its Menin Gate memorial.


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