This episode of The Cycling Podcast for Friends of the Podcast comes from Het Vlaamse Openingsweekend – the Opening Weekend of the Belgian cobbled Classics season.

Lionel Birnie and Simon Gill head to Flanders for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne for this sequel to Flanders Fever and The Lionel of Flanders.

It’s 20 years since Lionel first covered a professional bike race as a journalist. That was the 1999 edition of Het Volk. In the two decades since, the race has changed its name but so much about racing in the Flandrian countryside has remained the same for decades.

We hear from some of the riders past and present about their first races and ask what it is that keeps people coming back for more.