Tour of Flanders with a gravel bike – Laurens ten Dam’s alternative route

Laurens ten Dam, the former Dutch pro road cyclist has now turned to riding gravel. Together with Shimano, he wants to show us alternative routes to the famous classics, travelling through Belgium with two of his companions. We’ve got a link to video and lots of stills!

Twelve months ago, Laurens ten Dam could be seen with skinny slicks, riding in the peloton of the World Tour. However, for him, those times are over! Instead, you’ll see him on the gravel roads, showing us alternatives routes together with Shimano’s gravel program. Laurens explores a new side of Flanders, focusing on the Belgian hills and cobbled streets. Accompanying him are his podcast co-host, Stefan Bolt, and gravel adventurer Paul Errington. For two days, they tackled Flanders’ most famous climbs. An ex-pro, two less-fit friends, freezing wind and on top of that, rain. What could go wrong?

Flanders is famous for many things: stories of hard men and legendary riders of the “De Ronde“ who fight the elements with their bikes. Hair-raising stories about the paved, rider-breaking “Muurs“. Or the devastation of World War I in the fields of Flanders. The ideal setting for Lauren’s project!

Laurens has ridden the streets of Flanders countless times as a professional cyclist. The aim of his gravel project is to look at the routes and the landscape from a different perspective. Using Komoot, Laurens planned an alternative two-day route through Flanders from Oudenaarde to Ypres and back. It was alternative in many ways! But they survived and their bikes, unlike their bodies, coped just fine with the challenges they encountered. If you’d like to read the full story, click here, or check out Shimano’s gravel program.