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Velusso House of the Lion: Johan Museeuw's new cafe in Bruges, Belgium

A must-visit location for cycling fans heading to Flanders, grab a beer or coffee and look at some memorabilia from Museeuw's career

Better known for chocolates, a bell tower and a fantastic film starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, Bruges isn't a magnet for cyclists and professional cycling fans in the same way as places like Oudenaarde and Gent, and that's despite hosting the start of the Tour of Flanders until recently.

But that all looks set to change thanks to retired Classics superstar Johan Museeuw. The multiple-Monuments winner has teamed up with cycling experiences company Velusso to open Huis van de Leeuw in the heart of Bruges.

The Velusso House of the Lion – following Museeuw's nickname of 'the Lion of Flanders' – is part cafe, part shop, part museum. Currently in situ are bikes from some of the Lion's most famous wins, including one still plastered with the muck of a winning ride at Paris-Roubaix.

That was a race Museeuw won three times and he took the same number of victories at the Tour of Flanders. Both races, and their accompanying sportives, are in relatively easy reach of Bruges, so anyone planning to visit one or both should look at hopping up to the fairytale town of Brugge and sampling some sporting history over a cup of coffee or Kwaremont beer.

Huis van de Leeuw: Key information

Address: Velusso Huis van de Leeuw, 26 Zilverpand, Bruges, 8000  
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 09:00-18:00  
Open for: Breakfast, lunch, coffee and beer  
Bike hire: Grab a road bike from one of the only places in Bruges renting them out
Hosted brands: Le Col, Velusso, One Pro, Santini, Kwaremont, Sidi, Specialized  
Upcoming events: facebook.com/VelussoCyclingCafeBrugge  
Watch: All live cycling shown  
More: Zwift competitions, such as fastest 10km leader board = free coffee for a week  

‘It’s a real pleasure to be able open a cycling cafe and lifestyle store in the heartland of cycling,' explained managing director of Velusso, James Bowtell.

'While respecting Belgian culture through our ambassador, beer and food selection, we will also implement characteristics of the Velusso brand to ensure the store is an enjoyable, relaxed, modern and friendly place to hang out, watch live cycling and ride out from.

'It’s extremely exciting to be bringing something new to Brugge.'

Plan a ride with Cycling in Flanders

A fantastic resource for anyone visiting cycling's heartland is Cycling in Flanders: cyclinginflanders.cc. Pages of local knowledge, advice and curated routes, including one involving Flanders-born Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Combine a visit to the House of the Lion with a couple of days' riding on some of the region's best routes, plus you can rent a bike from Velusso to take some of the hassle out of your cycling holiday.

Photos: Dennie Deroo Photography / Velusso