Xmas CX in Belgium : where's a good base for getting to races?

EDIT: trip now booked. See my lastest post which also has links to useful tips on spectacting Belgian cross.

Looking for advice from Belgian CX fans. Hubs and I would like to spend Xmas week watching CX live, with the biers and the friets and the cheering crowds (and many layers of clothing) .

Ideally we would use public transport to get to races.

Exact dates are flexible but generally from 22 to 1st. Hubs is mapping it out and Antwerp looks like a decent spot but would appreciate feedback from those who know the races and trains over there.



Oudenaarde is a great base point! Right in the heart of Flanders.

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I would start by identifying the races you want to see. It can take 2h30 to go from one side of Flanders to the other. I’m also not sure I would rely too much on public transportation.

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I think Flandrian Hotel is doing some packages. If not, they’re certainly well prepared!


Oudenaarde would be great for the Gavere on the 26th, but looks rather far for nearly all the others races that week.

Oh that looks like an ideal hotel for a spring bike trip! This trip will likely be more about spectating than riding. Like Oudenaarde, it could work well for the Gavere on the 26th and Diagem on the 28th.

I’m also looking at Leuven as possible base.

Races aside, what are Belgian cities and towns like during the week following Xmas?

In N Germany where my husband is from it’s tumbleweeds that week. In France (where we live) cities are still lively that week and lots of restaurants etc are open.

earmark the races you want to go to, and then select. I lived in Leuven and took the train to a lot of races. Highly recommend the train, was extremely reliable (at least in 2015)…

so many great cities to visit as well, have fun!!

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Yup! I would have to agree with @ZackeryWeimer :slight_smile:

Flanders area is great. I stayed in Meulebeke when I raced in Belgium (Zolder, Sint Nicklaas, Hoogstraten & Maldegem) and the races were pretty close, except Zolder. But then again, Belgium is not that big :sweat_smile:

Have fun! The CX scenes are just :heart_eyes:


Is there a list of races somewhere? I’m moving to Antwerp on 29th December and would love to attend a race in the few days after!

There sure is: https://cyclocross24.com/calendar/2023-2024/ME/

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Ace - thank you!

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Thanks all for your replies, links, and reassurances that trains are a viable option.

As we are city dwellers who don’t own a car, I chose races that were easy to get to without one: Antwerp on the 23rd and Gavere on the 26th.

Bonus would be Zilvermeer on the 22nd, which is not far from Antwerp as the crow flies. It all depends on train connections.

Sharing our plans here in case anyone else wants to plan something similar. If you don’t already live in BE or a bottomless bank account, it can tricky logistically with Xmas closures and demand pricing.

Antwerp was an easy choice because
a) can easily walk to race. Hubs can drink all the beer he wants.
b) CX aside, it’s a cool city and like all Flemish cities will look cheerfully festive for the holidays
c) it’s big enough to have at least a few restaurants open on the 24th and 25th.

Evening of 25th, train to Oudenaarde, which is only 12 km south of Gavere.
I booked a hotel with a restaurant for Oudenaarde, instead of a vacation rental as I assume grocery stores will all be closed.
After we come back from Gavere, pick up bags at hotel in Ourdenaarde and then train back to Paris. Alas I need to be back on the 27th.

No riding for this trip: Antwerp area isn’t terribly inspiring for a roadie, and we won’t be in Oudenaarde long enough. However thanks to links above and what I’ve found while searching there’s lots of cool places to stay. I’ve found inspo for a spring visit.

Most vacation rentals in Ourdenaarde area assume you’re there to ride, with secure bike rooms, good laundry facilities and sometimes even power hoses!

Reddit had also been a source of good practical tips:




There is a World cup race in Hulst, Netherlands, on the 30th. It’s even closer to Antwerp than most belgian races.


Thanks, we wanted to see this one but I ned to be back in Paris on the 27th. Antwerp, Gavere, and Mol will have to suffice!

Oudenaarde is indeed a great spot but if you can hire a car I would suggest to base yourself in Ghent. I’m an expat living in Ghent and it really is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. If you prefer to be closer to the races in the East then Antwerp or Hasselt will work but they don’t have the charm of Ghent :slight_smile:

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Agreed, Ghent is super charming - we’ve visited it a few times already. But already booked the train tix so this time it’ll be Antwerp and quick stopover in Oudenaarde.

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We will be traveling from Chicago to Belgium to watch three cyclocross races beginning with Gavere. We chose Brussels as our base location. Are you familiar with public transportation from the train station in Gavere to the race site?

The simplest option looks like walking. These places are pretty tiny.

Thank you for your response. Checking off cyclecross in Belgium from our bucket list. Also considering renting a car for Gavere and Zolder so we have the freedom to stop at other locations.

FYI, these are the calendars of Van Aert and Van de Poel this year (Pidcock’s calender is still unknown).
Looks like you are in luck, both are going to be in Antwerpen and Gavere!

PS: sorry, it’s in Dutch

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