Jan Raas haunts you

Borsele, Zeeland, The Netherlands

Cycling route: 770988

Provided by: Algemeen Dagblad

103.3 km
06:04 h
1820 kcal
3 m


With a little imagination you can see him toiling along the banks of the Zesterschelde. This is where cycling icon Jan Raas laid the foundation for his successful career.

Now Raas has his own route. Not that he himself is that impressed by it. We think, because he doesn't talk to the media. Since he stopped as manager of the Rabobank team in 2003, he has led a secluded life. And so it was not surprising that in 2016 he failed to attend the opening of the route through Walcheren and Zuid-Beveland named after him in his hometown\'s-Heerenhoek. His brother-in-law Cees Raas, who took care of the former world champion's bicycle for many years, did the honors.

Somehow the smokescreen adds something to the route. Raas rages with you invisibly. Fits like a ghost rider to your rear wheel. You quickly think of one of those ten Tour stages that the strongman won, often solo but also as the strongest in the sprint. Or classics such as Paris-Roubaix, Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders that are on his list of achievements. Especially if you complete the 101 kilometer long tour on your racing bike. Anyone who thinks that's too long has no excuse to stay home. The route can be shortened to 46 and 55 kilometers and can therefore also be easily covered on a regular bicycle or e-bike.

Hot spots

Anyone who spends a day in Zeeland by bike will soon choose the Oosterschelde. Or the Storm Surge Barrier. Or the Zeeland Bridge. They always appeal to the imagination. Yet the Jan Raas Route quietly ignores these hotspots. The arrows show the way along the banks of the busy Western Scheldt, where the wind is always a bit annoying. Take Raas\\\' hometown as a starting point and you first go through the Vlissingen-Oost port area, a less charming route. Just before Vlissingen the route turns to Ritthem (with a nice stretch past Fort Rammekens), after which you leave Walcheren via Nieuw- en Sint Joosland.

Back in the Zak van Zuid-Beveland, the winding over the dikes begins
Once back in the Zak van Zuid-Beveland, you start meandering over dikes, past fruit orchards and lovely polder houses. It sometimes seems as if time has stood still here. Potatoes and fruit are for sale at stalls on the driveways of farmyards. Via Langeweegje (the former home of cyclist Johnny Hoogerland, who emigrated to Austria), the Western Scheldt comes into view again near Hoedekenskerke. Here and a little further on at Ellewoutsdijk you can almost touch the other side (Terneuzen). Hoedekenskerke has something else nice: on the dike is De Restauratiewagen, an old train set that has been converted into a cute bar.


The stretch along the Western Scheldt is approximately 20 kilometers long and can be a killer for many in a headwind. Perhaps that is why all route signs have a symbol of a wind catcher. As a warning. Because in Zeeland the wind will turn against you sooner or later. In the municipality of Borsele you return to's-Heerenhoek via Jan Raas\\\'s birthplace Heinkenszand, which was once created on a sandbank. If all goes well with tired legs. But anyone who dares to whine about that should think about Jan Raas one last time. We have never heard them complain.

Text: Raymond de Frel
Parking Bicycle cafe Restaurant Chapel or cross Tourist train station Windmill Fort

Height Profile

Algemeen Dagblad

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# Description Distance
Parkeerplaats (Stenevate, 4451AB, Borsele, Zeeland, The Netherlands) 0.00 km
De Hoop (romp/restant) (De Hoop, 4451BL, Borsele, Zeeland, The Netherlands) 0.70 km
53 (4451HJ, Borsele, Zeeland, The Netherlands) 1.18 km
87 (4453BR, Borsele, Zeeland, The Netherlands) 5.77 km
86 (4453AA, Borsele, Zeeland, The Netherlands) 6.86 km
St. Nickolas (Schorerpolderweg, 4389VB, Vlissingen, Zeeland, The Netherlands) 18.58 km


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