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Traces of WWI along the course of the Ghent-Wevelgem cycling classic

Gent-Wevelgem is not only an annual cycling classic but also a commemoration of the First World War. Since 2015, the cycling race has officially been called 'Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields.' The cycling classic occurs every year on the Sunday before the Tour of Flanders.

Death trench

'In Flanders Fields' refers to the poem written by Canadian poet and physician John McCrae. He wrote the world-famous poem on 2 and 3 May, 1915, while working as a surgeon at a nursing post near Ypres.

The fact that World War I cannot be dismissed during the spring classic Gent-Wevelgem has everything to do with the route laid out. The riders cycle through the World War I battlefields via Zonnebeke, Langemark-Poelkapelle, Mesen, Heuvelland, Ypres, Diksmuide and Komen-Waasten. 

During the cycling classic, you will see a lot of war memorials and World War I cemeteries pass by. lists a few of them.

Battle of Messines


Langemarck-Poelkapelle is home to the German cemetery and a monument for the Canadian soldiers.


Diksmuide lies on the banks of the Yser River. Heavy battles were fought on the Yser front throughout the First World War.



Discover more Great War sites in Flanders. Some of these landmarks have been declared Unesco World Heritage sites in 2023. More World War I relics can be found in France, Germany,... 

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