The European Cycling Union (UEC) today awarded the 2024 UEC Road European Championships to
Flanders, and more specifically to the province of Limburg. The championships will take place from 11 to 15 September 2024. Heusden-Zolder and Hasselt are the start and finish cities.
The UEC Road European Championships, consisting of 13 championship events spread over 5 days in the categories elite, U23 and juniors (men and women), are a first for Flanders. Hooglede-Gits already hosted a European Championship in 2009, but then only with U23 and juniors. Limburg, as one of the most progressive and innovative Flemish cycling provinces, will be the setting for the European title race in September 2024.
Enrico Della Casa, President of the European Cycling Union, said: “Awarding the 2024 Road European Championships to Limburg (Flanders) is without doubt a historic moment for European cycling. World champions and young talents from the continent of Europe will compete on the roads of Limburg and write exciting, important cycling history. The event will provide fans and media with an experience that will usher in a new chapter for European cycling, with a big welcome and a lasting approach.
I would like to thank Flanders, and in particular Zuhal Demir, Flemish Minister for Tourism, and Ben Weyts, Flemish Minister for Sport, for supporting this candidacy so enthusiastically and preparing for the event with such passion.
We will be working closely with the LOC (local organising committee) EK Limburg 2024, made up of Flanders Classics and the VZW Limburg Demarreert, which, with its international experience, will be using all of its expertise and professionalism to make the 2024 Road European Championships something that is unforgettable.”
After the successful Road World Championships in Flanders last year (with the time trials between Knokke-Heist and Bruges and the road races between Antwerp and Leuven), the Flemish government is now once again putting its weight behind an international cycling event. In 2024, the cycling world will get to know the cycling culture that is typical of the most easterly Flemish province, Limburg.
“Limburg breathes cycling. Limburg is a true paradise both for recreational cyclists who like to interrupt their trip for a cold beer and for the seasoned cycling tourist. Together with our partners, we have all the right cards to make this Road European Championships a unique experience for both the riders and the supporters. So note the second week of September 2024 in your diary without delay. Then the race returns home once again to Flanders, in Limburg,” says Flemish Minister for Tourism Zuhal Demir.
“After welcoming the Road World Championships almost a year ago, in 2024 we are happy to welcome its younger and smaller brother; the European Championships,” says Flemish Minister for Sport Ben Weyts. “Flanders is crazy about cycling and does not hide it. The fantastic Road World Championships were a major success in all aspects and a fantastic showcase for our region. With the European Championships in 2024, we are once again putting our strong organisational efforts behind a top cycling event.”
“This top event is an exceptional opportunity for our province,” say Deputy Regional Marketing and Communication of the Province of Limburg Bert Lambrechts and Deputy of Tourism of the Province of Limburg Igor Philtjens. “Our beautiful landscapes, tourist attractions and of course our unrivalled network of cycle paths will be put in the international spotlight as a result. Visitors from home and abroad can thus enjoy a whole experience - and of course the legendary Limburg hospitality.”
For the organisation of the event, Flanders Classics and Limburg Demarreert vzw are joining forces as a LOC (local organising committee), which have together been organising the Ronde van Limburg since 2021:
“We are very much looking forward to expanding this cooperation,” says Tomas Van Den Spiegel of EK Limburg 2024 vzw. “We will be delighted to use all our expertise to make it a great cycling week in Limburg. Moreover, this project underlines the excellent cooperation with the colleagues of Limburg Demarreert and allows us to put a little touch of legacy from the 2024 Road European Championships into the organisation of the Ronde van Limburg in the future together.”
The starting signal for the races will reverberate in Heusden-Zolder, which is no stranger to cycling. In 2002, the Road World Championships were held there, in the winter the cyclo-cross riders have been indulging themselves for years during the Christmas period and at this moment a brand new cycling track is taking shape:
“Heusden-Zolder has for many years now been known as a top sports municipality. Our beautiful mining municipality is home to many disciplines and events. We also have a great deal of expertise and infrastructure in-house, think of Circuit Zolder and the nearby velodrome that is under construction. There is no better starting point for this cycling festival in 2024 than our municipality, where it’s always buzzing with sports!”, says Mayor Borremans.
All races will conclude in provincial capital Hasselt, a city that embraces the bicycle and cycling. Last month, for the second year in a row, the Ronde van Limburg started in Hasselt amid great public interest. As host city of the 2024 UEC Road European Championships, Hasselt wants to promote cycling even more:
“As the capital of the ultimate cycling province of Flanders, we are happy to act as host city for the 2024 UEC Road European Championships,” says Mayor of Hasselt Steven Vandeput. “The cycling peloton and the spectators are very welcome in our beautiful city. Hasselt is the ideal base to enjoy our province in general and the European Championships in particular.”
Cycling fans can get ready for a fantastic cycling week in Limburg, Flanders. What the programme of 11 to 15 September 2024 will look like exactly and what the route will be for the European champions of 2024 will be announced at a later date.
The Flemish government, through EventFlanders, is joining forces with the Province of Limburg and the cities of Heusden-Zolder and Hasselt to make an organisation of this calibre possible. EventFlanders works under the auspices of Tourism Flanders, but is a collaboration involving Visit Flanders, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Culture, Youth and Media and the Flemish sports agency Sport Vlaanderen.