Paris Roubaix and Tour of Flanders Trip

Spring Classics Tour

Spring Classics Date 3rd to 15th April 2020

Ride two cycle sportives and see the classics Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders.
Experience the passion for Spring in the north of Europe. Hosted by a local former professional cyclist.
If you are a true Cycling Enthusiast then you have to see a Classic once in your life!

Spring Classics Trip Details

Highlights
TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Ride the Tour of Flanders Cycle Sportive event and the Paris Roubaix Cycle Sportive event.
  • See two of the greatest races in the world and a semi-classic:
    • Tour of Flanders
    • Grote Scheldeprijs
    • Paris Roubaix
  • Ride the famous roads with Eric de Clercq, an ex Belgian Pro
  • Visit the Tour of Flanders Centre and Museum
  • Visit traditional Belgium Brewery
  • Experience Belgian Hospitality
  • Immerse yourself in a true Cycling Culture
  • Visit Flanders Fields and Ieper with the Menin Gate and Battle Field Tour.
  • Be part of a Pro Tour Team on race day.
Details / Pricing

Dates: April 3, 2020 to April 13, 2020 
Start: Brussels, Belgium
Finish: Brussels, Belgium

Group Size: 15 guests – 3 staff
Price:
 $6950AUD
Single Supplement: $800AUD

Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If travelling alone we will match you with a person to share. Alternatively, you may choose to have a room of your own by paying the single supplement.

Note: It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.

Rides
RIDE RATINGS

Our trips allow you to choose a suitable ride each day. Alternative ride options are available on most days. We use a consistent ride rating to help you choose your ride. We rate each ride on various factors; distance, total climbing, intensity and altitude. The table below is a guide to our ride rating system.

Unfortunately, we can’t forecast the weather when designing our rides, but your trip leader will advise you on any precautions. 

DistanceSHORT: less than 30km
MEDIUM: between 30km and 80km (depending on the total climbing).
LONG: more than 80 km
AscentTotal climbing (ascending) for the day, anything over 2000m is a big day
IntensitySome rides may have time constraints. Our rides vary from EASY, MODERATE to HARD.
AltitudeSome of our rides may go into alpine areas where thinner air affects your intake of oxygen.
Suitability
Spectators and Off the Bike

Racing fans are always welcome!

Social Riding and Leisure

We understand that your cycling holiday is a HOLIDAY! We understand that you don't normally ride everyday at home. Our ride routes cherry-pick the best areas.

Some training will always enhance your experience!

Experienced Riders

Your cycling holiday is all actually about the bike! Our epic and challenge ride options seek more vertical metres and longer miles.

Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:

  • All Transport.
  • Services of experienced Tour Guides, including former Belgian pro cyclist, Eric de Clercq.
  • Return transfers from Zaventem Airport on the 5th April and 15th April.
  • Accommodation in a 3 star apartment (Gent), a quality 4 star Hotel (Ieper) and 4 star hotel in Zaventem.
  • Buffet breakfast daily.
  • 3 course evening meals on 5 nights.
  • Picnic Lunch on 4 days.
  • Mechanical assistance with your bike.
  • Sightseeing as listed.
  • Ride files and Bikestyle Tours Itinerary.
  • Bikestyle Tours Cycling Jersey & Bibs
  • Entry to Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix Sportif
Bike Hire

Note: All bike hire costs include 2 water bottles for you to keep. We also provide a saddle bag with a spare tube, pump, tyre-levers and multi-tool. The pump and saddle bag with its contents must be returned with the hire bike at the end of hire.

AT A GLANCE

TWIN SHARE
  • 11 Days
  • 5 Dinners, 4 Lunches
  • Flanders and Roubaix
  • Luxury Transport
  • High Staff Ratio
  • Intermediate to Experienced
  • 3 & 4 Star Hotels

When is Paris-Roubaix?

Paris-Roubaix is raced during Spring in Northern France. The route is about 250km in length and starts from Compiègne to a finish on the Roubaix velodrome. But, in getting there cyclists have to navigate more than 20 sectors of cobbles. They are normally slippery, either as it is dusty or they are wet. Surviving each sector requires riding near the front.

Therefore, riders race to the entry of each sector. In doing so, they increase their average speed. It is a race about surviving and staying out of trouble. The intensity lifts again for the last 90km, marked by the entry to Forest d’Arenburg and is the most feared sector of cobbles.

To stay out of trouble is one thing, but to do it with the least amount of effort, only sometimes converts to success at Roubaix. Hell of the North is a tough race.

Tour of Flanders is a week earlier

Only one week earlier, most of the riders lined up for Belgium’s biggest race, Tour of Flanders. Locally, it is known as Ronde van Vlaanderen, the Ronde. 

Over 80% of the population of Belgium tune into the race in one way or another. It is the race that stops the nation. It is marked by the famous cobbled bergs, or walls, of Koppenberg, Kwaremont, Paterberg and many others. 

Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders are raced in similar way.

forest d'Arenberg cobbles paris-roubaix
Paris-Roubaix is raced on cobbles, often slippery. Forest d'Arenberg is the most feared sector.

Hosted by local Belgian and former professional cyclist, Eric de Clercq

Share the local roads of Eric de Clercq, the Tour of Flanders typically passes his front door. He can certainly claim home ground advantage. He came very close one year almost being the sole survivor in the breakaway.

Eric’s career of 11 years saw him win 19 victories including a stage win in the Tour of Britain. He is one of the hard men of Belgium. Eric rode for:

  • La William-Duvel from 1991-1993
  • Collstrop from 1994-2002

You will find Eric a wonderful host as he shares his experiences with professional cycling teams. From racing, to sports director, professional soigneur to hosting team VIP’s during race-day. You will learn an incredible insight into the Spring Classics races, as well as meet some of the riders and managers.

Most of all, Eric is a great guide who cares for your experience and he is a pleasure to spend time with on and off the bike. 

Former Professional Eric de Clercq winning a stage
Eric de Clercq winning a stage at Tour of Britain

Spring Classics - Cobbles and Bergs Tour Itinerary

  • Welcome to the Spring Classics
  • Tour of Flanders Cycle Sportif
  • Tour of Flanders
  • Visit Flanders Museum
  • Cobbles, Bikes and Beer
  • Scheldeprijs Semi-Classic
  • Ieper and the Flanders Fields
  • The Arenberg Forest
  • Paris-Roubaix Cyclo Sportif
  • Race Day Paris – Roubaix
  • A Bientot from Belgium

Welcome to the Spring Classics

Friday, 3 April 2020
Gent, Belgium
Welcome Dinner
SHORT RIDE
 
LONG RIDE
 

Arrive in Belgium and beautiful, lively Gent, our base for the next 6 nights where you can unpack and settle in.

We start today with our staff meeting you at Zaventem airport in Brussels at 11.30 am and transferring you to our first hotel in beautiful, lively Gent, our base for the next 6 nights where you can unpack and settle in.

The first job will be to assemble your bike and Bikestyle staff will be on hand if you have mechanical problems or need any other assistance. The rest of the day is yours.

Centrally located in Gent, it is ideal for visiting the historic city or to the other neighbouring Flemish Cities of Art (Bruges, Antwerp and Brussels are each within 30 minutes).

Depending on your arrival time there should be time for a shakedown ride. It will be possible to do a ride for those who have come in the morning. Tonight a Welcome Dinner is provided at the Hotel Restaurant and there will be plenty of time to ask questions and meet the staff and of course, the people who you will be spending your holiday with and maybe a Belgian beer or two!

Tour of Flanders Cycle Sportif

Saturday, 6 April 2019
Gent, Belgium
Breakfast, Dinner
SHORT RIDE
 
LONG RIDE
 

Today we have the special Cycling Sportif event for cycling tourists on the day before the real boys come out to play.  On average 16,000 riders do this great event and you too will have the opportunity to do either the 170km, 130km or the 74km distance events - you choose.

Each year there is a special Cycling Sportif event for cycling tourists on the day before the real boys come out to play.  On average 16,000 riders do this great event and you too will have the opportunity to do either the 170km, 130km or the 74km distance events – you choose. Our great location in Gent will be to our advantage this morning as the hotel will prepare an early breakfast for us. After breakfast, we will head off to the start line to start your Flander Sportif experience. The 130km is the pick of the events as it gives you a true feel of the race as it traditionally goes over all the final (13 or so) climbs including the famous Molenberg, Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg, Berendries, Valkenberg, Paterberg. It’s a great day on the bike but a hard one as the growing popularity of the event now means that almost 16,000 people participate. You would think it might be chaotic and on the climbs, it can be a little like that but all in all the day goes smoothly and quickly considering the numbers. The Tour of Flanders for Cyclists is the second event on the Golden Bike calendar, an initiative of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) to promote bike races worldwide. The Tour of Flanders (the race) is without a doubt one of the biggest sporting events in Belgium. Today we will have the chance to get a sneak preview of the atmosphere at this cycling event. Hopefully, it’s blue skies! Fingers crossed. Sportif entry is included. Merchandising not included. After the event, we will gather everyone and head back to Gent for a well-deserved shower and maybe some frites and mayo with a Belgian beer to wash it down along the way!

The Tour of Flanders

Sunday, 5 April 2020
Gent, Belgium
Breakfast, Picnic Lunch

The Tour of Flanders is a living monument to cycling thanks to its past winners and demanding parcours. Hard men shine through this race typically hit with snow, wind and/or rain… Men like Rik Van Looy, Eddy Merckx, Roger De Vlaeminck, Tom Boonen and Johan Museeuw.

tour of flanders riders

I don’t think there is anything quite like seeing a big Classic race live. The crowds are getting bigger every year. All of Flanders comes out to celebrate as if it is their National Day. To me, this is the real heart of cycling. If you are a cyclist you have to see this race once in your life.

In 2020, the route will finish for the ninght time in Oudenaarde. In 2019 Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First) has created one of the biggest surprises in the recent history of the Tour of Flanders. The 25-year-old Italian drove away from all the big names on the Oude Kwaremont, on his way to his first professional victory ever. Kasper Asgreen and Alexander Kristoff completed the unexpected podium

We are assuming the race route will be similar to the 2019 event which will include a final section of 75 kilometers built around three loops on the Oude-Kwaremont and Paterberg in combination with the Koppenberg and Kruisberg.<p> This loop is concentrated around four crucial hills in the Flemish Ardennes, all within a stone’s throw of each other. The ultimate final, being ten climbs and two cobbled sections followed by a straight line to the finish in Oudenaarde, which will see only the strongest survive to battle out the finish.

Hundreds of thousands of cycling fans make the Tour of Flanders what it is today so the atmosphere on this final circuit will be amazing!

After breakfast we’re going to see the start in Antwerp. You can check out the pro’s bikes and equipment they will use. Once the start is given we’re starting our own tour of Flanders, not on the bike but by  van. We will go from one point to another using the back roads in the Flanders area.

We’re providing a VIP pick nick lunch with bubbles, beer and soft drinks.

After seeing the finish we will return to Gent for a free evening in town. Our hotel is situated in the centre of Gent so the restaurants are only a short walk away.

Brief History of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen

The Ronde is one of the most prestigious of the Spring Classics, or of any cycle race. It’s an endurance race in the true sense. 270 kms with more than a dozen climbs it varies year to year. There are no Alpine or Pyrenean mountains, but most of the climbs are narrow and steep, and several are cobbled. Although they are tough in their own right, they also raise the tempo in between since everybody wants to be in a good position when they start.

Visit Flanders Museum

Monday, 6 April 2020
Gent, Belgium
Breakfast
SHORT RIDE
 
LONG RIDE
 

Today we will drive to Oudenaarde for a visit of the Tour of Flanders Centre and Museum in Oudenaarde, followed by lunch in the beautiful town square.

Today we will drive to Oudenaarde for a visit of the Tour of Flanders Centre and Museum in Oudenaarde, followed by lunch in the beautiful town square. After lunch we will do a loop on yesterday’s racecourse included the Oude Kwaremont, Patersberg and Koppenberg. This is our chance to take some pictures on the most famous climbs from the ronde van Vlaanderen.

The Tour of Flanders Centre is located in the historical heart of Oudenaarde near the Market Square. Oudenaarde is the gateway to the Flemish Ardennes, with the slopes and cobbled roads of the Tour of Flanders.

The interactive museum looks for the spirit and the heroes of the Tour. The museum has a multi-media approach with magnificent audiovisuals, projections and computer simulations. Every visitor gets the chance to experience the Tour himself. You can feel the excitement, the suffering, and the happiness. You can cycle next to Schotte, Merckx or Museeuw and you can feel the cobbled stones and hills.

Cobbles, Bikes and Beer

Tuesday, 7 April 2020
Gent, Belgium
Breakfast
SHORT RIDE
 
LONG RIDE
 

Today you will ride some of the famous cobbled climbs from earlier Tour of Flanders editions including the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen, the Kapelmuur, and the Bosberg.

Muur van Geraardsbergen

This morning we will leave Gent for the day and travel to Brakel, the hometown of Eric your guide and the heartland of the Flemish Ardennes. Eric will take you to some of the famous cobbled climbs from earlier editions including the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen, the Kapelmuur, and the Bosberg.

After lunch, it is off to brouwerij Roman or Brewery Roman for a tour and tasting. The story of the Roman family brewery began back in 1545. The brewery had been located in Mater (on the route of the Tour of Flanders) east of the city of Oudenaarde for more than four centuries.

After our visit, we will stumble to the vans and return to Gent where you are free for the evening.

Scheldeprijs Semi-Classic

Wednesday, 8 April 2020
Gent, Belgium
Breakfast, Picnic Lunch

This morning we will see the second of the great races in our week at the Classics, the semi-classic Grote Scheldeprijs. Being midweek between Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix it is expected that the top riders will come out to contest this, the oldest race in Belgium

This morning we will see the second of the great races in our week at the Classics, the semi classic Grote Scheldeprijs. Being midweek between Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix it is expected that the top riders will come out to contest this, the oldest race in Belgium.

Previous years the start was in Antwerp. This year it’s the third time the race stays closer to the river Schelde the start of the race will be in Terneuzen, the Netherlands. After a tour of 129,8km between the Western Schelde and the Eastern Schelde trough islands Walcheren, North- and South Beveland in the state of Zeeland, the riders will reach the Belgium border and complete the remaning kilometres to the finish in Schoten. We will stay in Schoten until the finish and return to the hotel afterwards.

Grote Scheldeprijs The Grote Scheldeprijs is a Belgian semi-classic cycling race which used to start in Antwerp and finishes in Schoten. The event is seen as a race for sprinters, held on flat but windy roads over roughly 200 kilometres. The first Scheldeprijs was organised by the Antwerp branch of the Belgian cycling federation (BWB) on July 8, 1907, making it the oldest cycle race in Flanders. In its early years, it started and finished in Antwerp, concluding at the now-demolished Zurenborg velodrome. Our day: Today we’ll be a part of the Lotto-Soudal team. We’re having breakfast together with the riders. After breakfast we can check out the bikes the riders will use and we have a quick look at the team bus. After all this, we will ride in convoy to the start area where you can check the other teams. Once the start is given we’re starting our own Scheldeprijs, not on the bike but by van. We will go from one point to another using the back roads in the Schelde area. We’re providing a picnic lunch with bubbles, beer and soft drinks. (TBC)

Ieper, the Flanders Fields, and Kemmelberg

Thursday, 9 April 2020
Ieper, Belgium
Breakfast, Dinner
SHORT RIDE
 
LONG RIDE
 

We have an amazing day ahead of us, firstly we will ride the famous Kemmelberg from the Gent-Wevelgem race and after lunch visits the Tyne Cot Cemetery and to finish the day witness the Last Post under the imposing memorial arches of the Menin Gate.

All the action today will centre around the famed Arenberg forest, The Wallers Forest and the section near Orchies. Today will be the last big day training for the teams, they will complete their final bike preparation and complete the reconnaissance of the important parts of the course and we usually see many of the teams out on the pave.

We will be heading down to Arenberg and see some of the teams pass through there before heading across to the Roubaix velodrome to see where we will be finishing Saturday's Cyclo Sportif ride and then go to the clubhouse for some retail therapy and possibly a beer in the bar.

First used in 1968 the Trouée d'Arenberg, Tranchée d'Arenberg, (Trench of Arenberg), Trouee de Wallers Arenberg, has become the symbol of Paris–Roubaix. The 2400m of cobbles were laid in the time of Napoleon I and the road were proposed for Paris–Roubaix by former professional Jean Stablinski, who had worked in the mine under the woods of Arenberg. Although almost 100 km from Roubaix, the sector usually proves decisive and as Stablinski said “Paris–Roubaix is not won in Arenberg, but from there the group with the winners is selected.”

To save our legs for tomorrows cyclo Sportif, we will offer an easy ride from Roubaix back to our hotel in Ypres.

After lunch, we will visit the Flanders Fields which were the scene of some of the most fierce battles of World War 1. We’ll have our guide who will show us the famous and the more hidden war monuments. One of the most famous ones is the Tyne Cot Cemetery, where there is an interesting display of the battles fought in this area and the resting place of many Australians and British soldiers. The cemetery grounds were assigned to the United Kingdom in perpetuity by King Albert I of Belgium in recognition of the sacrifices made by the British Empire in the defence and liberation of Belgium during the war. It is the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world, for any war. The name “Tyne Cot” is said to come from the Northumberland Fusiliers seeing a resemblance between the German concrete pillboxes, which still stand in the middle of the cemetery, and typical Tyneside workers’ cottages – Tyne Cots. To complete our day, on our return we will head to an early dinner (provided tonight) to be able to see the last post at the Menin Gate. Every evening (at 8 pm) since 1928, the Last Post has been sounded under the imposing memorial arches of the Menin Gate. The Last Post is the traditional salute to the fallen and is played in honour of the memory of the soldiers of the then British Empire, who fought and died in the ‘Immortal Ypres Salient’ between 1914 and 1918.

The Arenberg Forest experience

Friday, 10 April 2020
Ieper, Belgium
Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner
SHORT RIDE
 
LONG RIDE
 

All the action today will centre round the famed Arenberg forest. We will visit one of the teams for breakfast before heading down to Arenberg and see many of the teams pass through there before heading across to the Roubaix velodrome.

All the action today will centre around the famed Arenberg forest, The Wallers Forest and the section near Orchies. Today will be the last big day training for the teams, they will complete their final bike preparation and complete the reconnaissance of the important parts of the course and we usually see many of the teams out on the pave.

We will be heading down to Arenberg and see some of the teams pass through there before heading across to the Roubaix velodrome to see where we will be finishing Saturday's Cyclo Sportif ride and then go to the clubhouse for some retail therapy and possibly a beer in the bar.

First used in 1968 the Trouée d'Arenberg, Tranchée d'Arenberg, (Trench of Arenberg), Trouee de Wallers Arenberg, has become the symbol of Paris–Roubaix. The 2400m of cobbles were laid in the time of Napoleon I and the road were proposed for Paris–Roubaix by former professional Jean Stablinski, who had worked in the mine under the woods of Arenberg. Although almost 100 km from Roubaix, the sector usually proves decisive and as Stablinski said “Paris–Roubaix is not won in Arenberg, but from there the group with the winners is selected.”

To save our legs for tomorrows cyclo Sportif, we will offer an easy ride from Roubaix back to our hotel in Ypres.

Paris-Roubaix Cyclo Sportif

Saturday, 11 April 2020
Ieper, Belgium
Breakfast, Dinner
SHORT RIDE
 
LONG RIDE
 

The Paris-Roubaix Cyclo Sportif offers a ride to the heart of the legendary history of cycling. Does it get any better? Trouée d’Arenberg, Carrefour de l’Arbre, Roubaix velodrome.

You will have the opportunity to ride the same route as the pros the day before the race.

Paris-Roubaix Cyclo Sportif gives every cyclist the opportunity to experience the magic of Paris-Roubaix! Just a day before the real Paris-Roubaix, the Paris-Roubaix Challenge is conducted under the same conditions with the same cobblestones and the finish on the Vélodrome… Does it get any better? Trouée d’Arenberg, Carrefour de l’Arbre, Roubaix velodrome.

The Paris-Roubaix Cyclo Sportif offers a ride to the heart of the legendary history of cycling. We will offer 2 distances 145km and 70km (TBC), regardless of what route you choose, you will finish on the track of the fabled Roubaix Velodrome. There will be refreshments and you can take a shower in the very same place where the winners of the pro race (from Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault to Tom Boonen) wrote some of the most beautiful chapters in their careers.

We will have an early breakfast and head down to Roubaix around 7.00am to the start and all going well we will be on the bike by 8.00am. You can start any time you like before 10.00am and sometimes it’s good to start a bit later to avoid the rush at the start.

This concept is unique and an exceptional challenge. It won’t be easy but if you take it steadily and stay safe you’ll see the velodrome soon enough.

Sportif entry is included. Merchandising not included.

Race Day Paris – Roubaix

Sunday, 12 April 2020
Zaventem, Belgium
Breakfast, Picnic Lunch

There is no other race in the world like the Paris-Roubaix. The French race is known for its torturous pavé sectors and the many stories of pain and destruction that they hold.

paris roubaix spring classics

There is no other race in the world like the Paris-Roubaix. The French race is known for its torturous pavé sectors and the many stories of pain and destruction that they hold.

Our own Stuart O’Grady has won this icon and dreams of riders like George Hincapie and Johan Museeuw have ended in tears along the roadside, but the risks make the victory in velodrome that much sweeter. After 260 kilometres and around 50 of pavé, the race ends with one and a half laps on Roubaix’s outdoor track.

Win in Roubaix, the third of cycling’s five Monuments, and you are considered a god. Riders like Roger De Vlaeminck, Fausto Coppi, Rik Van Looy, Eddy Merckx, Francesco Moser, Sean Kelly and Tom Boonen have tamed Paris-Roubaix’s pavé for the well-earned status.

After a hard day on the bike yesterday we take it easy this morning. We already have seen two starts this week, Flanders and the Scheldeprijs. After breakfast were going to the first cobblestone section of the day. Through the afternoon we will visit several sections of pavé along the route where we’ll see up close the difficult conditions that take their toll on the riders as the day wears on.

After the race we will continue to our hotel in near Zaventem in preparation for our departure tomorrow. Tonight we’ll have a farewell dinner.

A Bientot from Belgium

Monday, 13 April 2020
N/A
Breakfast

Sadly, our trip comes to an end today. We hope have enjoyed the Spring Classics experience and challenged yourself on some of the toughest roads in Europe.

paris roubaix velodrome spring classics

Sadly, our trip comes to an end today. We hope have enjoyed the Spring Classics experience and challenged yourself on some of the toughest roads in Europe. Most of all we hope you’ve created new friendships and great memories. The trip ends and we head our separate ways but we hope to see you again soon. We will have a bus available to shuttle people to the airport during the day.

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