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!
23 Guest Reviews
Guest Reviews for this trip
This was the trip of a lifetime. Wow. The whole team were well-organized and from my end it all appeared to run seamlessly. I will never forget this experience.
Fantastic experience that exceeded my expectations! The race viewing was very exciting! Riding the legendary Spring Classics courses was a dream come true. The Thomson staff was top notch and the Canyon bike I rented worked out great with no issues. Riding the Paris-Roubaix Challenge was a once in a lifetime type experience. Can’t wait for the opportunity to join another Thomson trip!
I have done cycling training camps in the US. The Spring Classics through Thomson Bike Tours is the best I have ever experienced. A winning staff, a challenging collection of rides and a lifetime experience. I did not want the eight days to end. This trip combines hard work, spectacular riding and the legacy of European professional cycling. My heart-felt thanks to Jordi, Dani, Miqui, Saul and Sergi.
I have had a longstanding dream to watch the Spring Classics and to ride the courses. This trip on inspection seemed to fit the bill - I particularly liked the openness of the webpage in publishing interactive detail of the overall itinerary and the daily rides. Suggested confidence and professionalism.I also liked that the emphasis seemed to be on the riding and watching rather than celebrity and brewery.
The price seemed expensive to me but then I recognised the trip was to be occurring in peak cycling week in Belgium.
As it turned out, the trip fulfilled all my expectations and more.
- the riding was challenging but achievable and we were very well looked after on the road
- the Team had heaps of local knowledge used to good effect - all good riders in their own right
- the viewing experiences were perfect
- hotels especially Vervier were spot-on
In short, the Thomson Team focused on looking after their clients, paying attention to the detail as well the big stuff, and overall providing a highly satisfactory experience. Good value and will have no hesitation in recommending to any serious cyclist.
This was an absolutely amazing trip, from both the cycling and the spectating aspects. I would highly recommend to any cycling fan.
This is a trip like no other. I can’t imagine packing anymore into a single week than what Thomson has been able to pull off. I had no appreciation for the difficulty of the each and every one of these Classics courses. Watching the races on TV is one thing but seeing the courses up close and personal is something else. It’s going to be fun to watch the races on TV again, past and future, now knowing what the pros have to face. Each and every Thomson team member was a true professional. It was a pleasure having the opportunity to ride with them and to get their insights on the routes. I haven’t had such a great week of riding like this, ever! Nor have I suffered as much, ever!
It was a fun trip with a good combination of riding and race viewing. I’m looking forward to watching the races with new insights into the Spring Classics.
The staff was very fit to keep up with the customers feeling the need to race ahead. They managed to keep track of us by using 3 group levels of comfort on rides. It is nice to have guides who know the areas and gems to see.
Amazing experience! Great group, great staff, great trip overall! Thanks!
It is hard to adequately describe the experience - Epic is perhaps overused, but that is the best word for me because it was epic in all regards. The overall itinerary for the trip is a dream for any fan of cycling history - the opportunity to ride the final 100km of these eternal classics really brings home the challenge and heritage of these great events. The Paris - Roubaix Challenge was amongst the most challenging days I have had on the bike, but the exhilaration of riding into the velodrome and across the finish line after over 172 km including 55 km of pave was also amongst the most rewarding - truly an experience to not be missed by any fan of “The Hell of the North”. To then watch the pros up close at the start, on a pave sector, and then directly on the finish line was an unbelievable finale to the trip. And through it all, the support was excellent and every present. The organization and support provided by the guide team was top notch. I am already looking forward to my next opportunity to join a Thomson trip to a new destination.
I’ve included almost everything with my other comments. This trip was a gift to myself, since I will be 60 later this year. To have this incredible experience means alot. I had many companies to choose from and Thomson provided a trip of a lifetime. Thanks again, Paul
I have done trips with several other tour companies. And this was my third with Thomson. You guys are just head and shoulders above the others that I’ve experienced.
The trip was excellent. My one recommendation would be to include the food at the end of the rides in the small cafes. I’d rather pay a little more and not be “nickled and dimed”. Also, the food in the vans should be a little more gourmet and varied.
The Classic trip truly gives a new appreciation of these famous routes and the difficulty of the roads. Riding these iconic courses as well as the opportunity to watch the BEST races of the year make this a fantastic trip. This was a challenging one, and not one to attempt unless you are relatively fit. The staff was top notch, and all in all, made for a truly memorable, fantastic week!
This was my first time using a professionally guided bike tour operator. I can say, without a doubt, that it was the experience of a lifetime that I hope to repeat in the near future. Thomson Bike Tours provides the ultimate experience for the cycling enthusiast.
Terrible experience…way overpriced and not recommended.
I enjoyed it a lot. It’s a little different from other tours I joined before - less picnic/vacation feeling but riding is the main business everyday. It’s fun, challenging, full of exciting people and interesting stories. I had a great time (and now feel riding faster )
Thomson provides outstand support and a great cycling experience. Have done 2 trips with you now and plan to do more. Anyone signing up for the Spring Classics trip should be aware it is a really tough week, so be prepared…
This trip blew me away. Not only being able to ride the courses the pros race on, but getting to view both Flanders and Roubaix was a dream come true.
Already sent an email. Big thanks to Peter and the crew, they made the trip.
If you love the Spring Classics, and dream of experiencing them to the fullest, THIS is your bucket list trip! Peter and his team surpassed all my expectations for both riding and viewing the great monuments!
Please see above. It was a wonderful trip.
Trip of a lifetime. Cycling heaven - took my cycling to a new level riding the routes of the monuments. Lived up to the ‘transformative’ promise.
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 104th 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 Wallonne, 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 2019 “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.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 9:30am at Lille Europe TGV Railway Station.
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 Greg Van Avermaet 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-Wallonne 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 170km 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 status as Official Tour Operator gives us privileged access to the VIP areas at the race start and at the race finish inside the famous velodrome. We’ll also witness the action on one of the cobble sectors - so get ready for drama and an 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!
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Lille Europe TGV Railway Station, arriving at approximately 8:00am. From here you can catch a high-speed train to Paris downtown or to CDG airport.