Spring Classics Set to Open 2004 Season for Velo Classic Tours
With December 1 being the unofficial start to the training season for European professionals, the Spring Classics, considered by many the hardest single day races in the world, are on the minds of some of the sport’s strongest riders. Watching the videos of the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix breaks the monotony of indoor training, but what are the races really like as they unfold? What makes the races so demanding? And what does it feel like to be a part of a culture that embraces the monuments of the sport and the men who conquer them? There is only one sure way to find out, and that is to experience it for yourself.
Tour Of Flanders: Let’s Get Started!
Referred to as “the trip of a lifetime” and “a trip every cycling enthusiast needs to take”, the 10-day tour of West Flanders begins with the popular and exciting Tour of Flanders cycling event. Starting in Aalst, where there are usually professional teams staying at the local hotels (including ours, usually home to Mario Cipollini and his Domina Vacanze teammates) we will cover the actual race route, including the Koppenberg, the Oude-Kwaremont
and the famed Muur de Geraardsbergen. Feeling the pain of the short steep climbs, and the cobbles, sets the stage for a once in a lifetime experience the following day.
Ghent-Wevelgem: May the Wind Be At Your Back!
The mid week semi classic Ghent-Wevelgem offers a brief respite from the brutal ‘bergs of Flanders, but still requires a hard man’s approach, fighting off severe winds and the cobbled ascent, and descent, of the Kemmelberg. The center of action on race day, the race passes over the Kemmelberg twice, and provides a key vantage point for the action. Two local bars televise the race, and put you in the heart of the days’ festivities for the exciting conclusion.
Paris-Roubaix: Cobbles & Cafes
The Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix, is the final race in our Northern Classics trilogy, and perhaps the most glorified. Our ride takes in 12 cobbled sections, including the famous Arenberg Forest. The pros reconnoiter on the course the Friday before, and we’ve enjoyed riding with them in the past, including Stefano Zanini and his Saeco teammates. This ride, though impossible to explain, sets the mood for the fanatical atmosphere that surrounds the Hell of the North. The day ends in the cafйs owned by the families of Peter van Petegem (in Brakel) and Johan Museeuw (in
Gistel)- both of which are not to be missed on our rides.
Do As The Locals Do
Northern Renaissance art, the Flemish Masters and a wonderful view into the lifestyle of West Flanders are all a large part of Bruges, Ghent and Tornai. Various cultural itineraries are provided, and there is opportunity for you to explore the cities on your own schedule and at your own pace.
And The Luxury Part…
Standard on all of the trips offered Velo Classic Tours are unique
accommodations in historic buildings, whether it’s a converted Guild House, Castle, Monastery or Abbey. Return to the luxury of these stellar environments after dining in the highest rated restaurants, as frequented by those who should know- the locals.
In addition to the 10-day Spring Classics trip from April 2-12, Velo Classic Tours offers trips to see the Dauphinй-Libйrй and the Tour de France, the Basque Country in Spain, and Tuscany.
Visit the Velo Classic Tours website for more info,
or call 212.779.9599.
Velo Classic Tours
15 E 32nd St 5th Flr
New York, NY 10016