How to host your own Belgian Classics party; don’t spare the horses…

Posted on: April 5th, 2019

It’s Tour of Flanders time and that means the first really big part of the pro cycling season is about to unfold in Belgium over the coming weeks; get the beers in.

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The Belgian Classics are underway and will keep us entertained right up until the end of the month.

The action in Europe doesn’t really kick off until we get to the Belgian Classics; the real start of the season for many is the Tour of Flanders.

We’ve already had Milan-Sanremo, the first monument of the year, but that’s Italian and Belgium is where it’s at.

And while Gent-Wevelgem was last weekend, there is nothing like the Tour of Flanders and the weeks that follow.

The fans, for starters, are a little more raucous. And the races themselves are far less predictable and certainly more entertaining.

And with Irish involvement in the Belgian classics and semi classic on the rise, it was about time we suggested you host a Belgian Classics party.

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Invest in that 42” plasma screen

That size TV is the absolute minimum, we might add, because when you’re topping up your beer in the kitchen and your eyesight is a little fuzzy you need to make out the colour of the jersey of those attacking on the bergs.

So we suggest going with a 60” or 70” TV, just to be safe; with surround sound too obviously.

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Stock up on plenty (plenty) of Belgian beers

Forget what season it’s from, or how it’s fermented and don’t even consider the flavour when buying.

Look for two important things; volume and price

We’re suggesting the devilishly cheap La Chouffe, the sweet-tasting Kwak (Pauwel) and for an absolute treat, the Paix Dieu Tripel.

And a few Leffe Rubys too. Drink in moderation (sort of – Ed). Unless an Irishman gets in the break or does something heroic.

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Get those Flanders flags draped everywhere

You can’t go wrong with these. All sizes are welcome and the more the better.

It’s not spring time in Belgium without the black lions set on the yellow background and no self respecting classics party would start with these hang from somewhere.

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Plenty of grub, preferably Belgian

For easy access and to accommodate your guests, food (and especially Belgian food) should be simple and unhealthy.

Think waffles, chips with mayonnaise, more beer and plates and plates of chocolate.

No one will care if it’s not Belgian but try and make the extra effort.

No knives or forks necessary.

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Some kind of betting table or blackboard

A bit of competition should spice things up and make it more exciting so why not take a tenner from all your guests and the names of three riders they think will win?

The person with the highest placed finisher takes all.

Unless there’s a tie, in which case the money is split evenly.

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Commentary? You know who

King Kelly will tell you who will win, and why.

He will tell you why a certain rider won’t win, and why plenty guys cannot win.

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Bingo cards

If you’re tuning into Eurosport what not make up some commentary bingo cards with phrases the guys normally come out with.

Whoever spots all phrases first wins a prize; probably a Belgian beer.

Think “making the calculation” as a starting point…

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