Tips for 3 Days of De Panne / 3daagse van De Panne-Koksijde at the roadside?

http://www.veloclub-depanne.be/

A bit far in advance this, perhaps, but I'm making plans.

A relative is visiting us from the old country and I'm thinking about seeing the split stage on the last day (short RR + ITT), seems like great value.

I've visited De Panne in peacetime and I principally remember it for the rather disappointing Oostendse Waterzooi I had there. :eek:

Anyone been to the race and have any suggestions (or indeed had a decent waterzooi there)? For example, how heavy are the crowds and how hard will that make parking in town (because it's bad enough in peacetime)?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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L'arriviste said:
http://www.veloclub-depanne.be/

A bit far in advance this, perhaps, but I'm making plans.

A relative is visiting us from the old country and I'm thinking about seeing the split stage on the last day (short RR + ITT), seems like great value.

I've visited De Panne in peacetime and I principally remember it for two things: rather disappointing Oostendse Waterzooi I had there. :eek:

Anyone been to the race and have any suggestions (or indeed had a decent waterzooi there)? For example, how heavy are the crowds and how hard will that make parking in town (because it's bad enough in peacetime)?

I find the food at the Belgian coast rather disappointing as well. Unfortunately I cannot give you any advice on this.

I usually visit the Driedaagse every year. I normally pick the first stage because there was a local loop around Zottegem that included the Berendries climb (3x). I managed to see them 7 times in total (by bike).

This year however, the first stage has been modified. There is a 55km loop around Oudenaarde which is done twice (http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/383736). If I go this year, I'll probably watch them on the Haaghoek cobbles in Zegelsem (near Brakel). 30' later the peloton rides through Zegelsem again on the N8 main road. So you'll see them 4 times. After that you can head to the city center of Oudenaarde to see the finish (1h later). Like last year stage 1 contains 12 climbs. Then I was lucky to see Pozzato rip the peloton apart on the Berendries. Unlike stage 2 or 3, stage 1 won't be a large bunch sprint.

The day after, I often go to the start of the second stage in Zottegem (on the Heldenlaan). The Easter holiday is yet to start, so most likely the number of spectators is a little lower. IMO this is a great opportunity to get close to the riders (except for Boonen ofcourse :) ). The start of the Omloop or the Ronde is way too overcrowded.
 
Great info, thanks!

Unfortunately I'll have to keep working for the Man until that last day, so that's my only option. :( Hope it helps someone else.

I did have the impression that the crowds would be a bit smaller, so that's pretty much confirmed from what you're saying there!
 
Mar 13, 2009
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il_fiammingo said:
I find the food at the Belgian coast rather disappointing as well.

In general or just the stage? I love that place, go there every year!

But I admit it's not something everyone would like.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Christian said:
In general or just the stage? I love that place, go there every year!

But I admit it's not something everyone would like.

I don't go very often over there, but if the chef fails to bake a steak "saignant" in 2 attempts, there is something wrong. Or maybe it's me being suspicious when it comes to foods in tourist places. Of which the Belgian coast is an ugly stereotype example.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Or maybe you just went to a bad restaurant? If you want I can give you some adresses, there are plenty good restaurants there.

It's certainly not the prettiest place on Earth and the weather can be bad even in summer, but a lot of people like it a lot and there are really beautiful places all around! Also great for cycling in my opinion, if you don't mind wind too much
 
Christian said:
In general or just the stage? I love that place, go there every year!

But I admit it's not something everyone would like.

Most of my Vlaams friends prefer Koksijde or Knokke-Heist. I haven't visited Koksijde but for Knokke it helps if you're a regular face in Knack magazine. :cool:

De Panne seemed to me to be much like the northern coasts of the UK: a classic favourite of old folks and kids. Nothing wrong with that, of course.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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L'arriviste said:
De Panne seemed to me to be much like the northern coasts of the UK: a classic favourite of old folks and kids. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

I'd say that is true for thw whole Belgian coast area, not a whole lot going on, but really nice, quiet and laid back. Although they do have some stuff going on in the summer, I was there for their national holiday and there was a nice market at night right on the beach, Oostende has all kinds of concerts in their hippodrome ...

/edit: My favorite place is Nieuwpoort-Stad and -Bad, we always go camping there! (They have a great restaurant called "Het Kompaas")