Arrow of Heist

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Arrow of Heist
Race details
Name Arrow of Heist
Date Late June
Region Republic of Heist-op-den-Berg
Local names Heistse Pijl (Dutch), Hèstse Pijl (Hestian)
Discipline Road
Competition Belgian Road Cycling Cup
Type Single-day
History
First edition 1947
Editions 46 (as of 2016)
First winner Flag of Belgium.png Constant Verschuren
Most wins Flag of Belgium.png Victor Van Schil (3 wins)
Most recent Flag of Belgium.png Jasper De Buyst

The Arrow of Heist (Dutch: Heistse Pijl), is a single-day and most important road bicycle race held annually in June around the Republic of Heist-op-den-Berg. The Hestian Arrow is also known as La Flèche de Heist in French.

The first edition of the Arrow of Heist took place in 1947, then known as the "Grote Prijs Heist-op-den-Berg" and was a very small contest for local and amateur cyclists. The concept of a small, unimportant race, survived a bit more than thirty years. In 1983, the last race was organized, and it would take another twentyfive years before the race was reborn in a drastically modernized concept.

Edition 2008

In 2008, the race began its second life and became bigger and more important than it had ever been during its first 36 years. To commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the City of Heist-op-den-Berg, a group of local enthusiasts organized a completely new race, however it was meant to be a rebirth of the old "Grote Prijs Heist-op-den-Berg". In this new race, cyclists drove eleven laps through the City of Heist-op-den-Berg, Wiekevorst, Itegem and Hallaar. Each lap was about 15 km long, making it a race of 165 kilometers. Cyclists would drive one time over the Hestian Berg at the beginning of each lap, causing a mass sprint in almost every edition.

Edition 2012

Sander Armée winning the 2015 edition.
To prevent the mass sprint, the route was slightly modified for the 2012 edition. The finish line kept its original place at the Paul Van Roosbroecklaan (IC 11). The cyclists would pass the Hestian Berg two times, starting with a modest climb at the beginning of each lap. At only two kilometers before the finish line, runners would pass the Hestian Berg a second time. This second climb would be more severe: an average of 5,1% over 450 meters.

The complete route was made up out of following streets and intercommunal roads: Paul Van Roosbroecklaan (IC 11) – IC 1 – IC 6 – Tapelaarstraat – IC 1 – Wiekevorst-Dorp – IC 5 – IC 7 - Nieuwendijk (IC 41) – IC 3 - Grotstraat – Voogdijstraat – Bergop – IC 3

Edition 2016

In 2016, the race was organized as a 1.1 event out of ten of the Belgian Road Cycling Cup. This meant that it would be broadcasted live on Belgian television channels VTM, RTBF and on Eurosport; as the Republic itself has no television channels. The 195 km long route started in the Belgian City of Turnhout, the actual race through the Hestian landscape would only start about 50 kilometers later, when racers passed the border at the IC 41. Only eight local laps instead of eleven were driven, because of this long entrée. The route was kept the same as the previous editions after the 2012 modification.

The 2016 edition tested a new system of signalisation specially intented for motards accompanying the cyclists. This was done to meet the demands and questions around safety that rose after two severe accidents among both parties occurred with only one week in between, one of them in the Baloise Belgium Tour.

Edition 2017

Although this bicycle race is called the Arrow of Heist, not all municipalities of the Republic are visited by the peloton. This changed the 2017 edition, were cyclists enter the Republic via Booischot, Pijpelheide and Schriek before starting the traditional loop between the city of Heist-op-den-Berg, Wiekevorst, Itegem and Hallaar.

Winners

Year Winner
1947 Flag of Belgium.png Constant Verschuren
1948 Flag of Belgium.png Victor Jacobs
1949 Flag of Belgium.png Charles Vandormael
1950 Flag of Belgium.png Josephus Van Staeyen
1951 Flag of Belgium.png Charles Vandormael
1952 Flag of Belgium.png René Janssens
1953 Flag of Belgium.png Rik Van Looy
1954 Flag of Belgium.png Willy Vannitsen
1955 Flag of Belgium.png Jozef Mariën
1956 Flag of Belgium.png Emiel Severyns
1957 Flag of Belgium.png Jan Van Gompel
1958 Flag of Belgium.png André Vlayen
1959 Flag of Belgium.png Leopold Schaeken
1960 Flag of Belgium.png Willy Vanden Berghen
1961 Flag of Belgium.png Louis Troonbeeckx
1962 Flag of Belgium.png Jean-Baptiste Claes
1963 Flag of Belgium.png Victor Van Schil
1964 Flag of Belgium.png Alfons Hermans
1965 Flag of Belgium.png Michel Jacquemin
1966 Flag of Belgium.png Alfons Hermans
1967 Flag of Belgium.png Paul in 'T Ven
1968 Flag of Belgium.png Victor Van Schil
1969 Flag of Belgium.png Rik Van Looy
1970 Flag of Belgium.png Herman Van Springel
1971 Flag of Belgium.png Frans Verbeeck
1972 Flag of Belgium.png Louis Verreydt
1973 Flag of Belgium.png Willy Scheers
1974 Flag of Belgium.png -
1975 Flag of Belgium.png Roger Swerts
1976 Flag of Belgium.png Marcel Laurens
1977 Flag of Belgium.png Frans Verbeeck
1978 Flag of Belgium.png Jozef Gysemans
1979 Flag of Belgium.png Eddy Verstraeten
1980 Flag of Belgium.png Marcel Laurens
1981 Flag of Belgium.png Daniël Willems
1982 Flag of Belgium.png Marcel Laurens
1983 Flag of Belgium.png Willem Van Eynde
Year Winner Second Third
2008 Flag of Belgium.png Geert Omloop Flag of Belgium.png Staf Scheirlinckx Flag of Belgium.png Evert Verbist
2009 Flag of Belgium.png Greg Van Avermaet Flag of Belgium.png Wouter Weylandt Flag of France.png Denis Flahaut
2010 Flag of Lithuania.png Aidis Kruopis Flag of Belgium.png Gorik Gardeyn Flag of the Netherlands.png Joost Posthuma
2011 Flag of Belgium.png Bjorn Leukemans Flag of Belgium.png Rob Goris Flag of Belgium.png Jasper Stuyven
2012 Flag of Belgium.png Maxim Vantomme Flag of Ireland.png Matthew Brammeier Flag of Belgium.png Eliot Lietaer
2013 Flag of Belgium.png Tom Boonen Flag of Belgium.png Kenny Dehaes Flag of Belgium.png Sean De Bie
2014 Flag of Belgium.png Tom Boonen Flag of Belgium.png Jonas Van Genechten Flag of Belgium.png Kenny Dehaes
2015 Flag of Belgium.png Sander Armée Flag of Belgium.png Michiel Dieleman Flag of Belgium.png Brent Goethals
2016 Flag of the Netherlands.png Dylan Groenewegen Flag of the Netherlands.png Wouter Wippert Flag of Lithuania.png Aidis Kruopis
2017 Flag of Belgium.png Jasper De Buyst Flag of Belgium.png Kenny Dehaes Flag of Belgium.png Joeri Stallaert


Links

Official website of the organisation