Ahead of the cobbled Classics season starting next weekend, cycling obsessed Belgian brewers Kwaremont have teamed up with newspaper Het Nieuwsblad to launch six specially labelled bottles, each featuring one of the most successful riders in the Tour of Flanders.
Sunday April 3 sees the 100th edition of the race and to celebrate that, purchasers of Saturday’s edition of the newspaper not only got a guide to the 2016 cycling season but also a bottle of the 6.6 per cent strength blond beer.
Each label features one of the riders to have won the race on six occasions including Achiel Buysse (1940, 1941 and 1943),Fiorenzo Magni, the only rider to win it three times in a row (1949-51), Eric Leman (1970, 1972 and 1973), and Johan Museeuw (1993, 1995 and 1998).
The other two bottles feature the three-time winners who are still riding –Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen.
The Oude Kwaremont climb often proves to be the decisive point in the race, and on its website the brewery’s marketing copy is rich with cycling references, although it appears to follow Al Murray’s Pub Landlord’s ethos of “a glass of white wine for the ladies.” It says:
Kwaremont is the beer for men who lead where others follow. Men who can move mountains with the determination of a child.
Kwaremont is the beer of ambition. Of passion that just keeps on going – even into a headwind.
Kwaremont is the beer of the genuine enthusiast. Because every victory brings its own reward for everyone.
Kwaremont is what drives you to your limits and beyond. Because there’s nothing quite like the Oude Kwaremont.
The newspaper of course sponsors the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the race that will get the 2016 Classics season under way next weekend.
Team Sky hasn’t named its line-up for yet but it looks unlikely that Ian Stannard, winner of the last two editions, will go for an unprecedented three-in-a-row.
Instead, he will most likely be focusing on events later in the Classics season, aiming to peak for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in early April.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.