Spring Classics Unpacked
From Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February through to Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April, the Spring Classics races are a cavalcade of furious racing, fanatical support and fevered excitement.
The roads, bergs and weather of these special races have their own distinct character – creating an arena for some of the most challenging riding and most enjoyable spectating in cycling. It's always a great way to kick off the race viewing season, and that's before we even mention the beer and frites!
A Truly Classic Spring — 2022 in Review
A defining characteristic of Classics seasons is that the races come thick and fast, which means we can usually watch several of the biggest events in a single week. This year we were forced to split the viewing of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, due to a rare change in the calendar. Both trips featured a large dose of World Tour race viewing and the biggest serving of cobbles, waffles and crosswinds that any cyclist can face!
FLANDERS AND AMSTEL GOLD
The first trip of the pair kicked off with the legendary Tour of Flanders Gran Fondo, the day before witnessing the race itself. With rides on the pavé of Paris-Roubaix and the last 100km of three famous staples of the Classics season – Gent-Wevelgem, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Flèche Wallone – this was a trip of wall to wall thrills for the first eight days. Riding these famous routes gives an incredible insight into the character of the riders that bloom on these particular parcours. Winds, grippy tarmac and stiff climbs sap the energy but the ever changing challenges keep the appetite strong.
To bring this trip to a grand finale we took on the Amstel Gold Gran Fondo and watched the race at the atmospheric Valkenberg climb. A fitting crescendo finish to a wonderfully challenging and thrilling week of riding and spectating. To say that we earned our waffles and beer would be an understatement.
AMSTEL GOLD AND PARIS-ROUBAIX
The second trip started as the previous one finished with the Amstel Gold double of race viewing and Gran Fondo riding. These Classics Gran Fondos have a unique atmosphere, with riders coming from all over the world to take on the challenge of short sharp steep hills and rough road surfaces. Paint daubed roads lie in wait for the pros and give a glimpse into the thrill of the World Tour as we ride in the tyre tracks of the peloton.
With the final 100-130km of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Flèche Wallone and the Tour of Flanders to take on ahead of the Paris-Roubaix Gran Fondo there was no time for taking it easy! This is a trip for the hardy – even if our legs will grew heavy, our spirit never wavered. We discovered our Flandrien spirit as we tackled seething cobbles and steep cols in this magical kingdom of the Classics.
Here’s to next year!
2023 Spring Classics Await
How’s your fortitude? Can you keep pedalling when the gradient defeats others, when traction is scarce and the surface can barely be described as a road? Can you master an echelon in a crosswind, find the perfect line through cobbles and grit your teeth as the temperature drops?
Are you ready to take on 11 days of the greatest, toughest roads in cycling? Can you meet the challenge and revel in the glory, celebrate with beer and frites and go again the next day? If the answer is yes, then maybe you have a Flandrien heart and we’ll see you in March 2023.
BERGS ARE BEST
It’s not only the highest peaks on the planet that raise the pulse of the peloton. Revered cols like the Paterberg, Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg, Mur de Huy, and Cote de la Redoute are etched into folklore despite barely being category 4 climbs. The sheer steepness, relentlessness and frequency of these climbs make them murderous. The challenge of taking each one on, knowing there are more to come, is one that not everyone can muster. Those that do will never forget the triumph, the glow of the Classics that shines like a beacon in your personal palmares. If you can do it here, you can do it anywhere.
The Classics make heroes. Nobody wins a Spring Classic and doesn’t deserve it. Not a single rider glides to effortless victory without trial or tribulation, without digging deep and taking risks or backing a whim to attack. These races are furious, attacking battles. Races within races; for corners, for the bottom of hills, for the beginning of cobbled sectors. You can’t look away, you can’t relax for a second.
THE SPIRIT OF SPRING
To witness these races on television is a thrill, but to be in the throng of the vocal local support is something unforgettable. Take a beer, treat yourself to frites and mayo or a waffle and try to contain your excitement as the noise of the race approaches. These storied roads, historic landmarks, War scarred lands, ancient villages and legendary velodromes are temples to racing. You can feel the history as you ride the routes and line the roads. Something special in the air.
WALL TO WALL HIGHLIGHTS
Over the course of the trip, you’ll conquer the cobbles, catch premier pro race action, and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture that define the Classics. You’ll learn how to ride the Classics with our expert ride leaders and enjoy VIP race viewings thanks to our relationship with ASO. Have a non-riding partner who’d like to join you? No problem, bring them along – we have a full itinerary specifically designed for non-riders.
- Ride the Official Tour of Flanders Gran Fondo
- Tour of Flanders Live Race Viewing on the Paterberg
- Ride Gent-Wevelgem
- Ride Liege-Bastogne-Liege
- Ride Amstel Gold
- Ride La Flèche Wallonne
- Ride the Official Paris-Roubaix Gran Fondo
- VIP race viewing of Paris-Roubaix
- Non riders welcome; enjoy race viewings, town visits & cultural tours