Tour of Flanders - amateurs

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Jon Cooper, Dec 17, 2003.

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  1. Jon Cooper

    Jon Cooper New Member

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    Hi

    Has anyone out there done the Tour of Flanders amateur ride on the day before the great belgian Classic ?

    I am thinking of having a go and would value any remarks...

    Cheers

    Jon
     
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  2. Mseries

    Mseries Guest

    Jon Cooper wrote:
    > Hi
    >
    > Has anyone out there done the Tour of Flanders amateur ride on the day before the great belgian
    > Classic ?
    >
    > I am thinking of having a go and would value any remarks...
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > Jon

    I have not done said ride, I have seen folk doing it and they all looked knackered by the time they
    reached the hilly parts ! Do they do a shorter route or is it just the race route ?

    --
    The Reply & From email addresses are checked rarely. http://www.mseries.freeserve.co.uk
     
  3. Howard

    Howard Guest

    Jon Cooper <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi
    >
    > Has anyone out there done the Tour of Flanders amateur ride on the day before the great belgian
    > Classic ?
    >
    > I am thinking of having a go and would value any remarks...
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > Jon
    >
    >

    Hi there,

    I rode this event this year along with 14,000 others...

    You can enter online at http://www.sport.be/eng/rondevanvlaanderen/

    They are very efficient in dealing with entries, or you can always enter on the line. The main
    advantage of entering in advance is that you can book a place on a shuttle bus to take you to the
    start of the 250km version. If you do one of the shorter ones they start and finish in Ninove.

    Full route details and so on taken from the pro event can be found here.

    http://www.rvv.be/

    I went via North Sea Ferries from Hull- this is normally extortionately expensive but by booking in
    advance and taking advantage of a 5day car plus 4 deal it cost 4 of us less the £60 each return
    including a cabin. I booked online into the Ghent Ibis Opera, a few yards from Plum's bike shop.
    There is also an excellent restaurant a few hundred yards toward the centre on the left hand side,
    just by the next canal.

    Use http://www.ibishotel.com/ibis/ rather then a booking agency.

    As to the event, it is very very hard. A week or so before we did a 110 mile ride round every hard
    climb we could think of the Yorkshire Wolds and found that quite easy. It took at least a week to
    recover from the Flanders... Main problem is the cobbles. I rode up every climb including the
    Koppenberg without problems (39x26 recommended) but the flat sections of cobbles are very hard to
    ride over. The locals tackle them by doing over 20 MPH and sort of bounce along the tops. Once I was
    stuffed and 15MPH was a real effort you just seem to hit each one full on. Another big problem is
    that you tend to get sucked into the competitiveness of the event and try to stay with whatever
    group you find yourself in, hence you don't sit up when things get hard and end up treating it as
    though it were a race. Also take PROPER food and don't try to rely on energy drinks like High5. This
    will just screw up your digestion and leave you feeling sick. As to equipment, Continetal 4 season
    tyres are ideal.

    As to watching the pro event, it is hard to follow the race due to all the traffic. Picking 2 or 3
    widely spaced locations is probably best and just enjoying the atmousphere. We bailed out after the
    Old Kwaremont and retired to a bar to watch the rest on TV.

    All in all a great event. After it we all said 'never again', but thought "Wow, that was great' by
    the time we were back on the ferry. Ghent is a lovely place to stay as well- if you go with a
    partner there are loads of really upmarket shops and so on.

    Enjoy!
     
  4. Martin

    Martin Guest

    Jon Cooper <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi
    >
    > Has anyone out there done the Tour of Flanders amateur ride on the day before the great belgian
    > Classic ?
    >
    > I am thinking of having a go and would value any remarks...
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > Jon

    Some of my other club members did it last year, generally favourable reports, but be aware of some
    ridiculous gradients on cobbled streets around the route (I think they they did the c150k route)
    IMBW but there I believe there are also Etapes of the Amstel Gold and PR

    L'Ardecheoise looks fun if you can spare the time/money
     
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