The Tour of Flanders has something unique. The thousands of fans who stand along the sidelines of the circuit, screaming for their favourites, create a magical atmosphere that cannot be compared with any other cycling race on earth. It’s like Filippo Pozzato said in an interview with an Italian newspaper, “If you want to know what cycling is, how much passion it generates, then go to the starting line of the Tour of Flanders.”
So it’s no surprise that the Ronde sometimes takes on a sacred aspect. For a couple of years, the ‘Tour of Flanders chapel’ has been welcoming visitors through its doors in the Hessestraat in Hoorebeke, the beating heart of the Tour. Surrounded by all the winners, you can pray to the cycling gods to grant you strong legs. If your little prayer is heard, you can take on the Wall of Geraardsbergen – the Muur - just a few kilometres away. The physical and psychological suffering during the 1,075-meter climb is nothing compared to the euphoric release of reaching the chapel of Father François Mbiyangandu at the top of the Wall. After all, it won’t be the first time that someone rose from the ashes here.