A 630km ride taking in four countries in one weekend – France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany.
Setting off from the main station in Dunkerque, France, at 6am, the ride heads northeast into Belgium, following the canals to Bruges for breakfast. From there, the route continues to follow the canal towpaths through Ghent, then across country via Mechelen and Aarschot, then following the Genk canal past Hasselt to Maastricht.
After a very flat first 250km, the terrain becomes more challenging as it heads through the hilly Limburg province of the southeast Netherlands to the halfway point at Aachen, just over the border into Germany. Turning round for the return leg, the route heads up the trail to the Drielandenpunt – the point where Germany, Netherlands and Belgium meet, and the highest point in the Netherlands. Then it’s back into Belgium, with the option of a sleep stop at Liège after about 360km.
Day two starts with a pleasant ride through rolling countryside, passing close to Namur, and through Nivelles to Geraardsbergen, with the opportunity to take a small detour to tackle the legendary Kapelmuur, one of the great cobbled climbs of the Tour of Flanders. The final section is a mostly flat trek across the plains through Oudenaarde and Roeselare to Dunkirk.
A GPX file of the route is available to view and download at RideWithGPS.com