CYCLING: Woodhall Spa’s Hutchinson tackles famous Flanders cobbles

Paul Hutchinson on the Belgian cobbles.
Paul Hutchinson on the Belgian cobbles.

Nine riders from Velo-One Cycling Team and Spalding Cycling Club, including Woodall’s Spa’s Paul Hutchinson (pictured), made the journey to Flanders in North Belguim for a social cycling experience.

The Tour of Flanders is an annual one day professional road race held in spring. The race is considered to be one of the five monuments of cycling, starting in Bruges and finishing in Oudenaarde.

It is one of the two cobbled classic races with short sharp hills the defining feature. There has only been one British winner of the race, the late Tom Simpson in 1961.

The professional race is held over 265km, however riders for Velo-One and Spalding rode a 120km route which took in the majority of the key areas of the race, including cobbles and steep hills.

Highlights of the ride were the two famous cobble climbs, the Koppenberg and the Patenberg, with gradients rising to 22 per cent.

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