The Tour of Flanders or Ronde van Vlaanderen is coming up this weekend on March 31 and Specialized issued a commemorative Beer set celebrating their five victories in the last five years. The set will not be available for sale unfortunately and 50 sets will be gifted.
They have high hopes for a sixth straight win as there is a sixth bottle in the set waiting for a victor. Their leader this year is three-time winner Tom Boonen who has the power and the kick to win this fabled race. But the Swiss powerhouse from Trek, Fabian Cancellara can break away at any moment and has the ability to ride solo ten miles to the finish. But the big unkown is the young Peter Sagan of Cannondale who is just maturing into the type of rider that we’ve only read about in the cycling archives. He is the type of rider that can win any race on any given Sunday, much like the riders of old.
For the uninitiated, the Tour of Flanders is one of the greatest one-day races in the world. Right up there with the Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders is a grueling battle with the cobblestones of Belgium. But the catch is there are cobbled climbs that pitch up to as much as 19 or 20%. It is a truly epic battle of strong men as hundreds of thousands of fans cheer them on.
Specialized commissioned one of the great new brewers in California to create a beer set to pay homage to the Tour of Flanders and their recent success with the race. The brewer, Sante Adairius created 5 bottles of their Belgian Ale with special labels for each of the five winners. The labels when joined together form a mural with the fans all lined up cheering on their heroes. The sixth bottle has a special Belgian sour ale. “These beers are meant to be consumed.” said Sean Estes of Specialized. Roadbikereview has met the brewers, Sante Adairius of Capitola and they are indeed one of the great new brewers in the US. Coming from a background of selling home brewing supplies in Northern California, Sante Adairius has rocketed up the ranks of renowned brewers in an innovative and crowded field of brewers. Craft brewing in the US has grown at the rate of 20% a year and there are now over 2200 craft brewers in the US, the highest level ever since the beer making immigrant population was squelched by the prohibition laws in the early 1900s. Roadbikereview is happy to report that US beer making is approaching world-class level and we will soon be exporting great beer to Europe and perhaps even Belgium.
We applaud Specialized for their choice of brewers for this set. Good luck to all racers on the upcoming 2013 Ronde van Vlaanderen.