In 1945 the Omloop der Vlaamse Ardennen was establish by four sportmen. At that time, the name completely covered the subject with the ascent of the Edelare, the Kluisberg and the Kruisberg which are part of the Flemish Ardennes.
The first edition was held under a bright spring sun with 79 riders and attracted a crowd of spectators. It was the first professional cycling race after the turbulent war years. It was a direct hit with world champion Marcel Kint as winner.
Cycling club Ichtegem-Sportief was established in 1947, with representatives of each part of the village of Ichtegem.
In 1948, the finish along the Torhoutbaan was forbidden by the government. Therefore, the finish moved to the Dorpstraat, now Engelstraat. At the same time the race was moved to Ascension Day until 1959.
In 1959, the East Flemish hill tops were abandoned and replaced by the Rode Berg and Kemmelberg which were then transformed from earth road into cobblestone road.
In 1968, Willy Vanneste won the 24th Omloop der Vlaamse Ardennen on his 24th birthday in nasty weather. In 1969, Eric de Vlaeminck won the 25th Omloop after winning the last cyclo-cross of the season.
In 1974, the race had to be contested on a local circuit because of parliamentary elections. Patrick Sercu -the six-day king- won. A stunt that he repeated the year afterwards. Highlights in the eighties were the participation of riders as world champion Greg Lemond and Laurent Fignon.
Unfortunately, the race was cancelled two times in 1970 and 2005 because of snowfall.
In order to remain strong internationally, the Guldensporentweedaagse was founded in 1999. Therefore, we joined forces with KSV Bellegem.
In 2003 an extra racing day was added and so the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen was a fact; one of the rare stage races in Belgium. For this we worked together with KSV Bellegem, the Krekedalvrienden from Handzame and Sportverbond Oostwijk from Harelbeke. The Omloop der Vlaamse Ardennen was always the final stage on Sunday.
After the 70th edition of the Omloop der Vlaamse Ardennen in 2016, we made the decision to draw a line under the stage race Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen. From 2017 on, the competition is a one-day race again but with a new name: Dwars door West-Vlaanderen.
Our Honors list is impressive with names like Marcel Kint, Raymond Impanis, Eric Leman, Frans Verbeeck, Patrick Sercu, Johan Museeuw, Niko Eeckhout, Eric Dekker, Anaud Démare, Gerard Ciolek …
The fact that it is not easy to set up such a cycling event in the village of Ichtegem is beyond doubt, but Royal Cycling Club Ichtegem-Sportief continues to do so. And the cycling supporters continue to brave the spring cold to be there at Ichtegems' cycling day.