Introducing the morning plenary speakers at the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference 2018


The EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference 2018 will take place in Limburg, Belgium on 26-28 September. In this article, we will introduce you to the speakers who will be opening the conference during the morning plenary session on 27 September. Visit the Conference’s website to find out more about the conference and make sure to register here before 12 September!

The morning plenary session will take place from 9h20 to 10h45 on 27 September in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hasselt (Torenplein 8, 3500 Hasselt). This session, moderated by Elke Quatacker from Toerisme Limburg, will welcome three exciting speakers: Ward Segers, Project Manager at Toerisme Limburg; Dries & Yuri, creators of the brand WASBAR and the shop Chez Claire; and Josh Ibbett, adventure bikepacker and winner of the Transcontinental Race.

Ward Segers

Ward Segers is a historian. After a short time working in education, he gained experience in the heritage sector and (economic) regional development. With his heritage and project management experience he became responsible at Tourism Limburg for the development of several bicycle projects. In addition to the development of a bicycle experience through the Limburg mining area, he also participates in the creation of “cycling through trees”, “cycling through the heath” and “cycling underground”. In his spare time he obviously likes to ride his bike, in Limburg and abroad!

At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, Ward will give a presentation titled “The cycle node network in Limburg, adding new experiences”. He will talk about the history and the unique characteristics of the Limburg cycle node network to show what makes Limburg a cycling paradise. Additionally, Ward will look at the future of this paradise. What new cycling experiences can be expected in the next year and how can we keep Limburg at the top of cycling tourism?

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Dries Henau and Yuri Vandenbogaerde are entrepreneurs and creative thinkers who seem to come up with an innovative new idea every few years. They met each other when they were studying in Ghent, and since then they have always worked together, each bringing his own marketing expertise to the team.

In 2012, Dries and Yuri founded WASBAR. This concept café and wash-house revolutionizes laundry for those who do not have a washing machine at home because at WASBAR, waiting for your laundry becomes a social happening. You can meet up with your friends with a nice coffee or a refreshing pint and even have dinner while your clothes are being washed! There are already three WASBAR in Antwerp and two in Ghent, and more are about to arrive.

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Dries and Yuri are also at the origin of Chez Claire, an éclair shop created in 2018. At Chez Claire you can try no less than 13 éclair flavors (including pistachio, salted caramel and triple dark chocolate), including versions for vegans and people with food intolerances. You can also take them away in gift wrappings. Moreover, Chez Claire also has its own brand of champagne, “Cuvée Claire”, which you can sip with your favorite éclair! So far you can find Chez Claire shops in Antwerp and in Ghent.

But Dries and Yuri are also travelers who traveled around Europe without any plan and shared their tips and reviews on At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, they will give an ‘out of the box’ session, talking about their experiences as young entrepreneurs. They will give tips on how to develop a business and keep it running, and most of all they will show you how fun it can be to do business.


Josh Ibbett has been racing and exploring the world by bike for over 15 years. A childhood passion for mountain bike racing has evolved into a passion for travel and riding long distances by bike. Josh has won the iconic Transcontinental Race, a 2600 miles race across Europe, from Belgium to Istanbul, and has also spent numerous months on the road, touring by bike.

At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, Josh will give a presentation titled “Ever wonder what goes in an around-the-world bikepacking kit?” During his speech, he will explain what bikepacking is, what he packs when he leaves for a bike tour, where he has travelled during his cycling years, where he usually sleeps and what he eats on the road. After listening to his presentation, you will have all the keys to start bikepacking yourself!

Josh Ibbett

You can download the full conference programme here or find it on the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference website.