The Van Gogh cycle route Brabant has been named as the European Cycle Route of the Year 2016

21-02-2016

VanGoghBrabant_routesign_v8_visual_OK.jpgThe Van Gogh cycle route Brabant has been named as the European Cycle Route of the Year 2016. Cyclists can enjoy not only Van Gogh but also the lovely Brabant countryside on this 335 kilometre cycle route. The Commissioner for Brabant, Henri Swinkels accepted the cycle trophy during the Cycling and Walking Fair in the Utrecht Exhibition Centre on Saturday 20 February.

There were three other nominations in the race for the title of European Cycle Route of the Year 2016 in addition to the Van Gogh route: La Vélofrancette (France), the Herzroute (Switzerland) and the Picardy Wallonia cycle network (Belgium). The jury was impressed by the 'Vincent van Gogh' theme. "The route takes you through various parts of North Brabant where the famous artist lived and worked. In some places the countryside looks just the same as when Van Gogh captured it on canvas," states the jury's report.

The flexible arrangement of the route and the signposting were also praised by the jury members. "Cyclists can choose one large circular route of 335 kilometres or five shorter cycle routes which can each be completed in one day." The jury had one more commendation about the route booklet: spiral bound with loose-leaf maps showing sections of the route. "The layout is clear, with the right information and everything is well designed. A lot of thought has obviously gone into this book."

More details of the Van Gogh cycle route can be found on visitbrabant.nl/vangoghfietsroute. This website is currently only in Dutch but you can download a PDF version of the booklet in English by clicking on the 'Download hier de engelstalige variant' link near the bottom of the homepage.

Henri Swinkels, Commissioner for Social Welfare and Culture for the province of Noord-Brabant: "Here in Brabant we are proud of the rich heritage we have inherited from Van Gogh across our province. This encourages many national and international visitors to Brabant. We are honoured that the Cycling and Walking Fair jury has named the Van Gogh route as the European Cycle Route of the Year 2016. This is one step towards our ambition to become the leading cycling province in the Netherlands in 2020."

Heleen Huisjes, director of VisitBrabant: "The Van Gogh cycle route not only allows you to tread in the footsteps of this celebrated artist, it is also a unique way to discover our beautiful province. By embracing Brabant icons such as Van Gogh, we are putting Brabant firmly on the map as a tourist destination. We are therefore immensely proud of this award!"

About the award
The Van Gogh cycle route takes over from the Alpe Adria Radweg, which was awarded the trophy in 2015. The Cycling and Walking Fair uses this award to stimulate cycling at home and abroad and to encourage public authorities to create attractive cycle routes.

The award ceremony took place on Saturday 20 February at the Utrecht Exhibition Centre.