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Gent-Wevelgem retains dirt roads for 2018 edition (+ video)

Around 5km of ‘Plugstreets’ will feature in men’s and women’s elite races

Next year’s Gent-Wevelgem will again feature stretches of dirt road. The ‘Plugstreets’ were included in this year’s men’s elite race in tribute to the fallen of the First World War and next year will appear in the women’s and under-23 races too.

Cycling News reports that the semi-paved Plugstreets take the riders past the graves of soldiers killed in the war. They accounted for around 5km in the 2017 edition and next year’s race will follow a similar route.

In 2012, the inaugural women's edition of Gent-Wevelgem was won by Lizzie Deignan (then Armitstead) after a 40-km solo breakaway. Finnish rider Lotta Lepisto won this year with Greg Van Avermaet taking the men’s race.

Men’s, women’s, junior and under 23 events will all take place on March 25.

The growing popularity of gravel bikes seems to be giving rise to more and more dirt track experiments within what are otherwise road races.

Last month we reported how the 2018 Tour de France route will include a 2km stretch on gravel roads on stage 10. That day’s route will also provide the parcours for the Etape du Tour.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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