Rain, wind, ice cold temperatures. Sounds like the perfect weather for the Tour of Flanders Cyclo. A thrill for true Flandriens, both from Flanders and beyond.

A month before the Tour of Flanders Cyclo the amount of participants hit the maximum limit of 16,000. The organisers couldn't allow more cyclists onto the parcours to guarantee a smooth event.

The grim weather conditions made several cyclists think twice about their participation. Tone it down from 239 km (starting in Brugge) to a more civilised 127 or 71 km (starting in Oudenaarde)? Leave the bike in the garage and stay home? Go to the cobbles and cheer on those who were brave enough to take part? 

Well over 15,000 passionate cyclists absolutely wanted to know how it feels to be a Flandrien for a day and were unfazed by the poor weather conditions at the start. As a true Flandrien should be. No pain, no gain.

One of 125 American participants came up with the perfect description: "The Tour of Flanders is rock 'n' roll on cobbles!" In addition to the majority of Belgian participants, cyclists from over 40 countries gathered in Flanders. From Norway to New Zealand, from Mongolia to Swaziland.

The national and international Flandriens (over 4,000 on the 239 km, around 9,000 on the 127 km and about 2,500 on the 71 km) were rewarded with a glorious trek on the same parcours where the pro riders will battle for the victory on Sunday, probably in better conditions. As a compensation for their efforts, the weather improved with a dry finish in Oudenaarde. 

WE CARE ABOUT CYCLING

The Tour of Flanders Cyclo signalled the start of the campaign 'We care about cycling' by organiser Golazo sports. The campaign raises awareness for the do's and don'ts of cycling on the road towards fellow cyclists, traffic and the environment.

Five fun but clear pictograms are at the centre of the campaign and will feature prominently during all of Golazo sports' 19 major cycling events throughout the year.