Less than six months after last year's edition, the riders will be back at the start on Sunday for the race in Flanders Fields. The successors to Pedersen and D'hoore will receive a very special trophy. The Brooding Soldier Commemorative Trophy was designed to highlight the strong historical ties between Canada and Belgium from the First World War.
The St. Julien Canadian Memorial is an iconic monument in Langemark, this edition also the official starting point of Gent-Wevelgem, and commemorates the heroic deeds of the Canadian army during the second battle of Ypres in 1915. The statue, also known as "The Brooding Soldier", is 11 metres high and symbolises the stand of the Canadians during the first gas attacks of the First World War.
The monument was the inspiration for the Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields 2021 trophy to honour the region's connection with Canada. The Brooding Soldier Commemorative Trophy was designed by Veteran Affairs in Canada and manufactured by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as were the headstones in the Canadian cemetery itself.
The trophies will be presented on behalf of Canadian Ambassador Alain Gendron, who will be present with the other prominent figures next to the podium. Earlier that day he will visit the Canadian Cemetery, the In Flanders Fields Museum, the Menin Gate and of course the inspiration for the trophy, the Brooding Soldier in Langemark.