Not for the faint of heart. If you like bike racing, rough roads, questionable weather and great beer, join us in Belgium, Northern France and the Netherlands for the CLASSICS!
Over the course of the week, we’ll conquer the cobbles, catch premier pro race action, and immerse ourselves in the rich history and culture that define the Classics. Our adventure starts with live viewing of the 102nd edition of the Tour of Flanders. Witness the sheer grit of the peloton as they battle to claim one of the oldest and most prestigious titles in the history of cycling.
Now it’s your turn. After a tough initiation - conquering the final 100km of Flanders, including the notorious Paterberg and Koppenberg - we’ll spend the week riding the final 100 km of each of the Ardennes Classics, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Amstel Gold and La Flèche Wallone, before finishing in grand style at the Official Paris-Roubaix Gran Fondo, a grueling 170 km with 28 cobbled sections! Finally, we’ll cap off a thrilling cycling week with VIP race viewing of the start, middle, and glorious Velodrome finish of the 2018 “Hell of the North,” Paris-Roubaix!
Bienvenue en France!
Our trip starts at Lille Europe Train Station where our staff will be there to welcome you. From the train station we’ll have a short transfer to our hotel.
Our staff will review the exciting week ahead in our Orientation meeting then we’ll enjoy a typical lunch at the hotel restaurant.
After lunch our mechanics will be on hand to help get the bikes set up, then we’ll head out onto the narrow lanes for our first taste of riding in Northern France.
LIVE Viewing: Tour of Flanders
Today is definitely one of those must-do, bucket list items for the passionate cyclist! Witness the pros fight it out on the Paterberg, one of the key climbs in the Tour of Flanders!
From our hotel we’ll ride to Flanders and test our legs on Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg. We’ll set up to watch the race on the Paterberg. Feel the atmosphere grow as the race approaches, enjoy a Belgian beer with sausage & pommes-frites and get ready to witness the locals go crazy if Tom Boonen powers up the 20% climb near the front. Unforgettable!
Tour of Flanders: RIDE the last 100km
Yesterday, the pros showed you how to survive Flanders. Now it’s time for you to jump on the bike and ride the legendary “bergs” that will have featured in yesterday’s race.
We’ll head over to Horebeke where we’ll start our ride which covers the final 100km of the pro race. The last 100km is always the toughest part of the race and our ride will include the 3 most famous climbs - Oude Kwaremont, the Koppenberg and of course, the Paterberg.
After the ride we’ll enjoy a visit of the Tour of Flanders museum before transferring to our hotel in the Ardennes.
Amstel Gold Race: RIDE the last 100km
The Amstel Gold Race is always the first of the 3 Ardennes Classics. Think of Holland and you probably think of flat tulip fields and windmills. Not here - this is the Ardennes and our ride today is an endless rollercoaster of short climbs and steep descents.
Starting near Benzenrade, 15 climbs lie between us and the finish, 100km away in Valkenburg, the most famous being the Cauberg where Philippe Gilbert won the final sprint to take Amstel Gold victory in 2014. A spectacular start to our Ardennes campaign…
Fleche Wallone: RIDE the last 100km
From the Dutch Ardennes we move to the French speaking Walloon region of Belgium. Our challenge today is the last 100km of the Classic Fleche-Wallone race. This is Philippe Gilbert territory and, later in the month, he’ll be looking to repeat his 2011 victory in front of his home crowd.
For us, it’s a chance to ride one of cycling’s most famous monuments - the Mur de Huy! It’s short, but with grades of up to 26%, this one hurts - and in the last 100km it features 3 times! Bonne route!
Liege-Bastogne-Liege: RIDE the last 100km
“La Doyenne” (The Old Lady) is of course the oldest of the classics - and for many, this is also the toughest of the classics. Again, we’ll tackle the final 100km. 7 major climbs lie in those final 100km with a total elevation gain of over 1750m.
Famous names such as the Cote de La Redoute and the Cote de la Roche aux Faucons preceed the final ramp up the Cote de San Nicolas - a 1km climb at an average of 11%!
Enjoy your final day in the Ardennes - Hell of the North and the cobbles are next!
From the Ardennes... to Hell
Our Ardennes rides are over and our attention turns towards the legendary cobbles that line the route between Paris and Roubaix.
A short drive takes us back to our first hotel where our mechanics will be on hand to get the bikes set up pro-style. This is our chance to ride a few cobbled sections before the 165km Paris-Roubaix Gran Fondo tomorrow (shorter distances are also available). Our ride leaders will be on hand to provide guidance on the best way to ride the cobbles before tomorrow’s big day!
RIDE Paris-Roubaix Gran Fondo
A dream come true for any avid cyclist - the opportunity to ride the classic of all classics - Paris-Roubaix! You will be participating in the Paris-Roubaix Challenge Granfondo along with hundreds of other passionate riders from around the world.
The Gran Fondo route covers the same famous cobbled sections as tomorrow’s pro race: Le Carrefour de L’Arbre, Trouee d’Arenberg and other stretches of the infamous cobbles lie in wait on the famous route to the velodrome in Roubaix.
LIVE Viewing: Paris-Roubaix!
You rode it yesterday so you now know what it’s all about - and you can now watch the pros with a new sense of appreciation. Life as a pro cyclist is tough and nothing comes any tougher than racing from Paris to Roubaix.
Our staff will have prepared the perfect plan to see the race at the key sections. Get ready for the usual drama and action- packed afternoon. Crashes, spills, punctures, broken bikes, broken bones will all play a part in the outcome of this legendary race - and you’ll be there to witness it all - LIVE on the cobbles!
Unfortunately, our Spring Classics Challenge must come to an end. Morning transfer to Lille Europe Train Station. From here you can catch a high-speed train to Paris downtown or to CDG airport.