Photo gallery: The dust and the beauty of the 2017 Schaal Sels

by Matt de Neef

There are a great many .1-classified races on the UCI’s Europe Tour but few capture the imagination quite like Schaal Sels.

In 2015, in the race’s 90th edition, organisers spiced up the event by introducing a number of gravel sectors and cobblestoned farm roads. That change had a dramatic effect on the event, turning what was an ailing one-day race into a genuine spectacle. The bad farm roads, the dirt, the mud — it all makes for compelling viewing and wonderful photos.

Two years on from the race’s reinvention photographer extraordinaire Kristof Ramon was back at the 2017 Schaal Sels over the weekend to capture all the action. As Kristof’s photos show, it was another tough day out on the roads near Antwerp. In fact, just 38 of the 121 starters actually finished the race.

Last year’s race was won by cyclocross world champion Wout van Aert and the 22-year-old again featured heavily in the 92nd edition. In the end he would have to settle for second, though, with Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn (Roompot) proving strongest from the elite lead group.

We hope you enjoy Kristof’s wonderful photos of the 2017 Schaal Sels.

Follow the links for photo galleries from the 2015 and 2016 editions of Schaal Sels.

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