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Northern Classics Lingo: 10 phrases and words you'll hear at Belgian's top races

Belgian basics you need in your repertoire during the classics season.

Officially, Flemish does not exist, but every day life proves that it does. With most of the northern classics beginning or travelling through West Flanders, there are certain words and phrases that you'll only hear at this time of year.

Helligen - meaning ramps or short ascent

Helligen

(noun)

An inclination of a slope, series of ramps, or short ascents.

Ronde

(adjective)

A route, lap, or race starting or finishing in the same place. The last ronde is the final lap or circuit of the race route.

Cobble stone section of the race

Kasseien

(noun)

A small round stone used to cover road surfaces.

Pavé

(noun)

A section of cobblestone, which the riders have to ride along to complete the route.

Head of the race

Kop van de wedstrijd

(phrase)

The head of the race. This can be the a group of attacking riders or just the peloton if no breakaway has formed.

Renner

(noun)

A rider or race participant.

Lekke band

(noun)

A puncture.

A tough rider who never gives up

Flandrien/Flandrienne

(adjective)

A tough rider who takes risks, attacks, and doesn't shy away from hard work. "She/he rode like a true Flandrien today". Belgian Newspaper Het Nieuwsblad presents an annual award to the Flandrien of the Year. They present the award to both Belgian and international cyclists based on their performance during the season.

(noun)

A person born or originating from the Flanders region of Belgium.

Platoon

(noun)

The peloton.

The finish line

De aankomst

(noun)

A line marking the end of the race.

Read our guide to the Spring Classics

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The Northern Classics Guide, Part 1: Cobbles and Climbs
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The Northern Classics Guide, Part 2: into the Ardennes