Koksijde is the place to be

If you’re the type of cyclist who thinks the cycling season is finished once the champagne has been sprayed on the Champs-Elysées then you’ve probably just missed one of the biggest weekends, spectator wise, on the cycling calendar.

Last Saturday saw a huge day of racing take place just over the channel in Belgium. The afternoon played host to the Koksijde cyclo-cross. Thousands of people crammed on to a tiny piece of land squashed between a military base and a caravan park to watch the best cross riders in the world battle through thick sand and over 45-degree dunes.

It really is an incredibly nondescript scrap of land, but the Belgians’ love of cross, and the fact it’s about 30 minutes from Calais, mean it’s a must destination for any cycling fan.

Not wanting to leave it there, I then drove down to Ghent for an evening at the Ghent Six. With no Brits riding the main event it felt like there was something missing, but it’s still a great evening’s entertainment.

Some of the six-day events have been struggling of late, but there was standing-room only in Ghent on Saturday. There aren’t many days as packed with cycling action as the last weekend in November, so put it in your diaries for next year.

Simon Richardson is deputy editor of Cycling Weekly magazine

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