Cobbled Classics Week29 March — 8 April 2013
For 2013, La Fuga are offering a Cobbled Classics Week, which will connect the Flanders and Roubaix Ride & Watch weekends. Guests on this trip will be able to ride both the Flanders Sportive and the Roubaix Sportive, as well as watch the world's top professional racers at both events. Between these two monumental weekends, we'll enjoy rides on the historic roads in the area, including iconic climbs like the Kemmelberg and Muur van Geraardsbergen, take in the Ronde van Vlaanderen museum and watch the pros rip it up once again at the mid-week classic Scheldeprijs.
This week is a pilgrimmage to the holyland of professional cycling, encompassing two of the most important one day races on the calendar. Not only will you be able to watch the pros demostrate their prowess, but you'll also be able to try your hand on the same courses. We leave no stone unturned in allowing you to live and breathe ths spring classics.
We start the week off with the Tour of Flanders weekend, riding the RVV Sportive, one of the most purely enjoyable & celebratory events in all of cycling. We then zigzag our way across the Flanders fields, chasing the race, as riders do battle on the very course we rode. Last year saw a triumphant Tom Boonen capitalise on the bad luck of Fabian Cancellara to take manificent win in his home race. To say it was a popular victory is an understatement.
Our base for the first part of the trip is the beautiful city of Gent, with it's magnificent gothic arichecture and waterways. We will use this as a jumping off point to explore the rest of Flanders before visiting Antwerp to watch the pros again at the midweek Scheldeprijs.
One last brush with Flanders takes us to Kortrijk before we leave behind the bergs for the flat open tracks of Roubaix. We practise on the cobbles ahead of our own event, the Paris-Roubaix Sportive on Saturday. Watching the pros on Sunday, will know exactly what they feel as they race across the secteurs we rode a day prior, including the famous Forest of Arenberg and Carrefour de l'Arbre. Spectators are always rewarded at Roubaix, as the first man in the velodrome is always a deserving winner.
Three and Four star accommodation
Evening meals at the hotel and restaurants
Transfers from Lille Eurostar terminal/Brussels Zaventem International Airport
Experienced guides and dedicated support car on each ride
Complimentary sports nutrition
La Fuga welcome pack
Race registration - Tour of Flanders
Race registration - Paris Roubaix Challenge
All drinks with meals
Bike Rental Price:
|PLEASE NOTE: DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE & NON-TRANSFERABLE|
- Accommodation: 10 nights 3 & 4 star accommodation in Belgium & France
- Max. Group Size: 12 guests
- Events: Tour of Flanders Cyclosportive & Paris-Roubaix Challenge
- Pro Races: Tour of Flanders, Scheldeprijs & Paris-Roubaix
- Other Activities: Tour of Flanders Museum & Brewery Tour
- Price: £2750 (Single Occupancy)
- Price: £2400 (Double / Twin Occupancy)
Cobbled Classics Week29 March — 8 April 2013
Friday 29 March
Arrival at Lille Eurostar station or Brussels airport. Transfer by minibus to our hotel in Gent. Bikes will be assembled before a dinner at one of our favourite restaurants.
Saturday 30 March
Today is your chance to take on the challenge of “de Ronde” for yourself. We will make the short journey to the start in Brugge for those taking on the 260km route and arrive with enough time to make final bike adjustments or enjoy a final coffee to settle the nerves. Another vehicle will take those attempting the 140km or 80km to Ninove, also with time to make final preparations. While you are taking on the bergs of Flanders, we’ll be making preparations for your return, setting up our exclusive La Fuga Finish area where you’ll receive a post race beer, a comfy seat and a refreshing rub down, just like the pros.
After a well earned shower and perhaps a brief power-nap we’ll head into Gent to enjoy a great meal and exchange anecdotes over a glass or two of the local brew.
Sunday 31 March
After having suffered over the roads of Flanders yesterday, today is your chance to see the top professional riders slug it out over the very same bergs. We’ll catch the start in Brugge, giving you the chance to mingle with the riders and sample the pre-race atmosphere. From Brugge, we’ll travel to the circuit which was included in the race for the first time in 2011. Here we can set up for the day with frites and beer vans and a big maxi screen making a perfect race-watching platform. From here we get to watch the pain on the Paterberg - the steepest of all the climbs - as first the women riders pass by, followed by the men who will pass our viewing spot three times.
After we have caught the finish on the maxi screen and hopefully toasted a popular victory, we will travel back to Gent for a relaxing evening in the old town.
Monday 1 April
Today we will take a ride to the 'Ronde van Vlaanderen' - Tour of Flanders - museum in Oudenaarde. Having long served as the gateway to the famous bergs which feature throughout the race, Ourdenaarde's new status as the race route's hub and finish town make it a fitting place to have the museum. The museum chronicles every aspect of the Tour of Flanders race in miraculous detail and every bike racing fan will be excited by all that is on show here. From video footage, to old bikes and stories of the men who have made the race famous; everything is here for you to experience. You can even ride on cobbles in the musuem on a specially adapted static bike.
We'll get leave on a ride from the museum taking in a previous version of the Tour of Flanders route to include the climbs of the Bosberg and the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen which were taken out of the race last year with its move to a circuit-based finale. There can be nothing more iconic than climbing the fearsome Muur with the chapel (Kapelmuur) coming into view when you're almost at the top. From here we head over to Kortrijk taking in as many of the famous bergs along the way. We will return to Gent in the minibus after a day immersed in the heart of Flanders.
Tuesday 2 April
Today we will take a ride out of Gent on the cycle paths tracing the many canals of the city. We will search out some of the lesser known non-cobbled climbs on the Flanders route, such as the Valkenberg. On some of the steeper pitches you'll be pleased that we are leaving the cobbles out of today's ride.
No trip to Belgium is complete without a brewery tour and we have selected one of the local breweries in the Oudenaarde area for an afternoon tour.
We'll return back to Gent in plenty of time to relax and explore the town further.
Wednesday 3 April
Today we'll take in the action at the midweek Scheldeprijs. This race is the lesser known brother of the Tour of Flanders, but was actually started 5 years before in 1907.
We will mingle with the riders at the start, as this event will allow us to get closer to the big names who are targetting wins in the two monuments on either side of the Scheldeprijs.
Our ride will allow us to leave Antwerp and head into the countryside before arriving on the finishing circuit to watch the riders complete three final laps before the big sprint. This has traditionally been a sprinters race with Mark Cavendish winning here in the early part of his career, indictating that he was a force to be reckoned with, following in the wheel tracks of sprinters such as Mario Cipollini and Eric Zabel.
We'll transfer to Kortrijk after the race, arriving in time to check into our hotel and head out for dinner.
Thursday 4 April
Our final ride in Belgium sees us take in another legend - the Kemmelberg. This climb features in the early season semi-classic Gent-Wevelgem and has been the scene of battles and brutality throughout it's history. During the First World War, this was the scene of great battles and has recently been the scene of many crashes in the Gent-Wevelgem professional race. The slopes of the Kemmelberg are very steep and uneven, and although difficult in ascent, it is the descending on wet slippy cobbles have caused the biggest crashes. We will take it much steadier than the professionals to ensure we stay upright. After this, we'll seek out some of the French pavé in preparation for our event Saturday's event.
A shower and a Belgian beer await us in Kortrijk before we head out to a local restaurant in this beautiful medieval city.
Friday 5 April
Today sees our transition from Flemish cobbles to French ones. You'll immediately see and feel the difference, which characterise the two cobbled races themselves. We'll take you on a circular loop, taking in the most famous sections of the Paris-Roubaix cobbles.
The Forest of Arenberg is one such section. It appears quite early in the race, but this by no means lessens it's impact. This section is very descisive, as it is a very straight, fast section of pavé and has seen various crashes in it's time.
We're likely to see the professional riders out on the course getting in final practise ahead of Sunday's race This is exactly what we will be doing too, as we prepare for our own effort during the Paris-Roubaix Challenge the following morning.
We head to our hotel in Peronne and relax ahead of dinner.
Saturday 6 April
The Big Day! The hotel will serve a breakfast suitable for the day's activities with generous helpings of carbs and protein. We will then have a short journey to the event start in Saint-Quentin arriving with enough time to grab a pre-race coffee or two. Your guides will be on hand to pass on some last minute words of wisdom and escort you to the starting grid. After a tough (and hopefully enjoyable) race, we'll meet you at the finish in the Roubaix Velodrome with some cold drinks and congratulations. Afterwards we'll hopefully gain access to the iconic concrete showers in the sports complex, the scene of many a classic photo. Once showered and changed we will then make the journey back to Peronne, about a 1 hour transfer.
Sunday 7 April
After having suffered over the pavé to Roubaix yesterday, today is your chance to see the top professional riders slog it out over the same sections of pavé. We'll catch the start in Compiégne, giving you the chance to mingle with the riders, who we should all know quite well by this point, and sample the pre-race atmosphere. From Compiégne, we'll travel to the Forest of Arenberg - the most famous section of pavé. This is where the action really hots up as there is normally some excitment and controversy, and crashes on this dangerous section are a real possibility. As soon as the race has passed we'll have the TV screens on in the minibus showing live action as we head to the last decisive section at the Carrefour de l'Arbre. Often the area to include the race's decisive attack, we'll watch the racers carefully as they pass and then catch the finale into the Roubaix velodrome on the TV screens set up by the roadside.
Once the excitement is over, we'll head back to the first hotel of the week in Gent for our last meal together.
Monday 8 April
One final morning in Gent before we head to Brussels Zaventem International airport after an action packed week at the Cobbled Classics.