Estonian champion reigns in Flanders Fields to win Great War Remembrance Race

The Estonian champion Mikhel Räim has won the first edition of the Great War Remembrance Race. The rider of the Israël Cycling Academy outsprinted his fellow breakaway riders Pavel Bernas (Poland) and Belgium's Preben Van Hecke in Ieper. 

The race is organised by Flanders Classics which also hosts the Tour of Flanders. Organisers hope to climb on the ladder and become a bigger race in the future: at present, the competition from the Tour of Spain is very hard. 

The race has a strong link with the First World War. The finish was in Ieper, with Menin Gate shining in the background during the winner's ceremony (see tweet footage below). The riders also passed several  symbolic sites such as Tyne Cot Cemetery and had to battle it out on so-called plug streets, unpaved dust roads. 

25-year-old Räim posted his 5th victory of the season. During the ceremony, he received the Camille Fily trophy (see below) as pipe bag music was sounding in the background. Fily was a cyclist who died on 11 May 1918 during the Kemmelberg battle.