Local cycling hero Alec Segaert (21) wins the first Grand Prix MHD-Filou in his home municipality. (Lendelede)

Local cycling hero Alec Segaert (21) wins the first Grand Prix MHD-Filou in his home municipality. (Lendelede)
Local cycling hero Alec Segaert (21) wins the first Grand Prix MHD-Filou in his home municipality. (Lendelede)
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First Grand Prix MHD–Filou got the dream winner with Alec Segaert. — © Bas De Wilde

Lendelede

The first edition of the MHD-Filou Grand Prix in Lendelede was won by home rider Alec Segaert. He crossed the line 30 meters from his home in Heulsestraat, loudly cheered by many of his fellow villagers. “It is a wonderful apotheosis for the centenary of the Royal Velo Club,” says Frank Bruyneel, who organized the first professional race in 57 years together with Alec Segaert’s Supporters Association.

They can write a beautiful new chapter in the local library, where an exhibition runs until the end of April. In any case, the history of Lendeleed’s cycling life provided enough material for a large exhibition, because Lendelede simply breathes racing. The idea to organize a professional race arose from Alec Segaert’s supporters club, and the Royal Velo Club was immediately prepared to join forces.

The birth of the brand new professional race for elite with contract and U23 was presented in January in cafe De Kluisberg, the former club premises of the legendary Groeninge sprinters. Two serious sponsors were immediately found: Brouwerij Vanhonsebrouck and MHD from Izegem, who supported the organization. “We noticed that Lendelede is still race-minded by the number of people in the VIP tent,” say CEOs of the brewery Xavier Vanhonsebrouck and MHD Dieter Holvoet. “341 VIP formulas were sold, which is an unexpected number for a starting race.”

Main sponsors Dieter Holvoet and Xavier Vanhonsebrouck are proud of the success of the first MHD-Filou Grand Prix in Lendelede.

Main sponsors Dieter Holvoet and Xavier Vanhonsebrouck are proud of the success of the first MHD-Filou Grand Prix in Lendelede. — © Bas De Wilde

The municipality of Lendelede also made a logistical and financial contribution. Alderman Bernard Fonteyne even showed his cycling heart by personally helping to install the ‘skets’ or crowd barriers on Monday morning. “We have installed more than a kilometer of crush barriers. With pleasure because we can finally offer the population what they have been yearning for for so long.”

The race took place entirely on Lendeleed territory, with 17 laps of about 10 km long and an elevation gain of 46 meters each time. “And a strong wind of about 4 Beaufort that made the course tough,” says Wim Lagae, who grew up in Lendelede. As a professor at KU Leuven, in addition to being a racing fanatic, he is also an authority in the field of sports marketing and related matters. “It has been quite a tough race and was therefore tailor-made for Alec.”

The winner himself kept a close eye on the race. “Because it is a fair race and I am here with only two teammates from Lotto Dstny,” Segaert estimated his own chances for the race. But what everyone hoped for and somewhat expected, happened. The first edition of the MHD-Filou Grand Prix thus had the winner that everyone had dreamed of.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Local cycling hero Alec Segaert wins Grand Prix MHDFilou home municipality Lendelede

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