67th championship of Kessel

08 JULY 2023

Again this year, on the 2nd Saturday of July, we celebrate the annual Kessel high day in the form of the Championship of Kessel, previously known to many as De Retrokoers (The Retro Race). This will also be organized this year by Veloclub Torenven, in cooperation with café Torenven. The starting shot will come from the hands of Herman Frison this year. After the race there will be a free performance by the notorious Rumble Dolls! You see, no reason not to come down to Café Torenven!


After twenty years of silence, the Kessel Championship is coming back to life.

The first Championship of Kessel was organized in 1935 and only in 1940 there was an interruption because of the war. Until 1995, the Championship of Kessel was a real popular festival in Kessel-Statie to which people came from far and wide. The pubs were packed until early in the morning and it was a real high day, that first Tuesday of the construction holiday. But in the 1990s, fewer and fewer drivers came to the start and the financing of the whole event also became a difficult matter, so in the mid-1990s the Kessel Championship died a quiet death.

May 1, 2014, café Torenven was reopened and that provided a boost to the nightlife in Kessel-Statie. Torenven was also a household name from the 1930s and is on its way to becoming so again. The beautiful facade, the wonderful interior design, the friendly service and the trump card par excellence: the free snacks that are served, something for which people travel from far and wide, as far as Nijlen and Lier. Because café Torenven proved that an old glory can rise, the managers thought they could do the same with another old glory, the championship of Kessel. Meetings were called, ideas spouted and sponsors sought and then suddenly there was white smoke: on July 12, 2016, the 61st Championship of Kessel went ahead and meanwhile we are already at the 67th edition!

Times have changed, and so the regulations have also changed a bit. The organization is going the way of the retro races: no click pedals, gears on the tube and no shaved legs, all this to go back to the times of yesteryear and keep the race fun for everyone. The biggest difference with the old days is that riders from outside Groot-Kessel are also allowed to participate, but the first rider from Kessel to cross the finish line is the new Kessel champion. Should someone else win, he will of course also receive a prize and his name will also be mentioned on the list of honors, but the honorary title of “Champion of Kessel” remains reserved for Kesselaars.

We expect you all at the 67th Championship of Kessel on Saturday, July 8. The start will be given at 19h.

The organization
Veloclub Torenven


14h00Pick up bib number + registration
16h00Start series +45 years old (born before Jan. 1, 1978) and women – 15 laps – 55 km
19h00Start series -45 years – 20 laps – 75 km
Following award ceremony

The race is run in two categories. The first category is +45 years old (born before Jan. 1, 1978) and women, the second category is the riders of -45 years old.

Fringe entertainment provided in the form of bouncy castle and tombola.
Registration can be done online by clicking the following link or on the day.


We are proud to present Herman Frison, who will kick off our retro race. Herman is a true authority in the world of bicycle racing, with an impressive track record and in-depth knowledge of the sport. His passion for cycling and for the history of the race is infectious, and his enthusiasm for this retro race is sure to transfer to the audience. Herman Frison has had many impressive victories and achievements in his career. He is best known for his fast sprint and tactical skills, with which he has put many races to his name.


– The 2023 Open World Championship retro race is only for NON-license holders of any association.
– There will be 2 series:

Series 1 : -45 years old (born after 1/1/1978)
Distance: 75km (20 laps)

Series 2 : +45 years old (born before 1/1/1978) + Ladies
Distance: 56km( 15 laps)

– Helmet required (no sausage helmet)
– Only retro bikes allowed. They must meet the following conditions:
– Road bike with steel frame ( no aluminum, carbon or other).
– No gears on the handlebars.
– No click pedals, foot hooks are allowed
– No Aero parts, cables run above the handlebars

Each bike will be subjected to a technical inspection beforehand. If it does not conform, it will not be allowed to participate in the race.

Each participant is also responsible for the proper functioning of their own bike.

– Minimum age is 18 years old.
– Registration is possible online until 30/6/2023 via this link….
– Registration fee is €15
– Back numbers can be picked up until 30min. before each race
– The first resident of Kessel from both series will be honored as the new champion of Kessel.
– The jury decides in good conscience the results of the race and the winners of the intermediate sprints. Questions about this can be asked to the jury until 30min after the race.
– Duplicated riders must make way for the leaders so that they are not hindered. The doubled rider will also be taken out of the race for safety reasons when passing the finish line.
– Each participant must behave fairly towards the other participants. In case of dangerous driving behavior, the person involved will be immediately taken out of the race.
– The organizers may at any time prohibit participants who do not comply with these rules from starting or withdraw from the race.