Featuring Amstel Gold, Flêche Wallonne
and La Doyenne: Liège-Bastogne-Liège
TRIP DETAILS: Bookings Closed
Duration: 11 days (10 Nights)
Dates: Friday, 14th April to Monday 24th April, 2017
Start-Finish: Zaventem Airport (Brussels)
Accommodation: 9 nights Tongeren, 1 night Brussels, Zaventem
Group Size: Maximum 8 people (3 Staff)
Suitable For: Cyclists and Non Cyclist
Deposit: A$1000.00 (US$720.00)
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.
Single Supplement: A$750.00(US$540.00)
- Bike Rental A$726.00 (US$525.00) (Cannondale Synapse carbon fibre)
- Travel Insurance – Email us for details
If you are a true Cycling Enthusiast then you make the pilgrimage once in your life!
In this great 11 days in cycling heaven you will get the chance to:
- Ride the Tour of Amstel Gold Cycle Sport event.
- See two of the greatest races in the world and a semi classic:
- Amstel Gold
- Flêche Wallonne
- Ride the famous roads of the Belgian Ardennes with Eric de Clercq, an ex Belgian Pro
- Experience Belgian Hospitality
- Immerse yourself in a true Cycling Culture
Today we collect you from Zaventem airport at 11.30am in Brussels and take you to the oldest city of Belgium, Tongeren, our base for the next 9 nights where you can unpack and settle in. There will be someone to meet you at the Airport and assist you to our vehicle. After we collect everyone we will be on our way to Tongeren.
Tongeren is a city located in the Belgian province of Limburg, in the south-eastern corner of the Flemish region of Belgium. Tongeren is the oldest town in Belgium, as the only Roman administrative capital within the country’s borders and is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network. Some of you who are of a “certain age” will know the name Wilfried Nelissen, a famous Belgian road racing cyclist who was born here. He was one of the fastest sprinters of his generation.
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. We will than take a short shakedown ride to ensure your bike is ready to roll for the next 10 days.
Tonight a Welcome Dinner is provided 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!
The trip will ride all the famous roads of the Ardennes with ex Belgian Pro, Eric de Clercq.
Saturday 15, April: Amstel Gold Race for Cyclists
Today we will travel over the border to Holland for your own Amstel Gold Race. You will know what it feels like to grovel over these steep climbs. If you think Holland is flat, think again. Over here in the Limburg it ain’t flat. It’s a great day out and one of the most popular events on the cyclosportif calendar.
This is a mass participation and always sells out within days of registrations opening. We have a limited number of places available for this event especially for our clients. Ride distances to be confirmed.
The Amstel Gold Race Tour version belongs to the UCI Golden Bike event. You’ll ride through some of Netherlands most beautiful scenic areas.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Sunday 16 April: Amstel Gold Race
Today we will do the Amstel Gold Race again but this time as a spectator.
Over the years we have organised trips for spectators during the Spring Classics and The Amstel Gold Race is one of our favourites. The beautiful area with a mixture of tough climbs and small roads and this in such a small area makes this race special. It’s a race with a long history, with a winners list including Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Phillipe Gilbert.
The Netherlands is known for its flat country, where bikers have all rights on the road but this part of the “Low Countries” has numerous hills. Maasberg, Adsteeg, Camerig, Gulperberg, Keutenberg and Cauberg are only some of them and these names will mean nothing to you until you meet them.
The race route is still to b released but we will skip from place to place today catching up with the race in different locations. We’ll have a VIP lunch near the finish line where we will see both the women’s and men’s races.
Meals: Breakfast, VIP Lunch
Monday 17 April: The Amstel Gold without the crowd.
Today we go back to the Netherlands to ride a part of the Amstel without the other 16,000 cyclists.We will start and finish our ride in Valkenburg. After our ride we can have some lunch in one of the many restaurants in Valkenburg.
In the afternoon you can explore Tongeren or make a trip to the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery. Here on a bluff overlooking the Belgian countryside, 7,989 of American World War II dead are buried. Most of them were killed during the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944 and during the advance into Germany in 1945. Like all American military cemeteries in Europe, Henri-Chapelle is both beautiful and sombre, with its sweeping rows of white crosses honouring those who gave their lives for their country.
Tuesday 18 April, Ride the Final part of Flêche Wallonne
The Flêche Wallonne is the little brother of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and The Amstel Gold Race, but the race and the area are just as fascinating. We will ride the final circuit of the race which means that we start in Huy at the feed-zone. This 100km trip offers 7 hills and ends at the Mur of Huy (9,3 to 17 %).
Our support-van & driver will again be there when we need him. You can ride your own tempo knowing that alongside the road you’ll get provided with soft-drinks and bars.
You’ll be the hero when you reach the top of the Mur without getting off the bike.
After our ride and lunch we stay in Huy to see the women team presentation. The Flêche Wallonne for women is one of the hardest women’s world cup race on the calendar. The final is the same lap as the male pro’s!
Wednesday 19 April, Flêche Wallonne
The first of two Belgian Ardennes classics, La!Flèche Wallonne (the Walloon Arrow) is held midweek between the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. At one time, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège were!run on successive days as “Le Weekend Ardennais”. The list of winners over the years include such legends as Eddy Merckx,Bernard Hinault, Francesco!Moser and in 2010 Cadel Evans, the reigning world champion at the time.
La Flèche Wallonne was created to boost the sales of a newspaper Les Sports during!the 1930s and was first run in 1936. While perhaps not as revered as one of the Classic ‘Monuments’, the race is widely regarded as a Classic, and became part of the UCI World Ranking calendar in 2009.
Like many cycle race events, the course has altered considerably over the years, both in route and length. The event was first run on roads from Tourna to Liège (growing from 236 km to 300 km – its longest ever distance – in 1938).
After seeing the mens start last Sunday we’re going to see the women’s start. Women’s racing is still growing but you will see the different with the mens start. After the race start we have our lunch picnic and you can find a spot on the famous “Mur de Huy”. During the afternoon we will see one women’s race pass and the finish as well as the men’s race twice before seeing the finish.
After the race we will return to Tongeren.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Thursday 20 April, Liège-Bastogne-Liège ride
Before the pros hit the circuit for Sundays Liège-Bastogne-Liège, we will attempt some of the climbs of this classic race.
Leaving our hotel by van to the medievial town Durbuy where we’ll start our ride. Durbuy is one of the smallest towns in the world with a population of 11.000 people.
It’s all day up and down on quite countryside roads. At the end of our ride we will tackle the famous climbs of Liege-Bastogne- Liege, Côte du Stockeu with the Eddy Merckx statue on top of the climb and Côte de la Haute Levée.
The professionals are not the only ones who think La Doyenne (‘The Old Lady’) is the ultimate cycling classic and a challenging experience. Cyclists will be nervous for the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Challenge too.
You are sure to have a great day out on the bike and have a new found respect for the professionals who will tackle the race on Sunday at full race speed. After the ride we will return to Tongeren.
Friday 21 April: Blegny-mine museum
Tomorrow’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege Sportif will be a tough day on the bike so we offer an easy morning ride from the hotel to keep our legs fresh for tomorrow. In the afternoon we will visit the Blegny-mine museum in the heart of the coal-mining region around Liege.
Blegny-Mine became a UNESCO World Heritage site in July 2012, joining the ranks of Wallonia’s 3 other major mining sites (Bois du Cazier, Bois-du-Luc and Grand-Hornu). We have an exciting interactive tour, which includes a descent of 30 to 60 meters into the underground galleries of this authentic coalmine via the original shaft, for an enriching insight into the work and daily lives of the original miners. Nothing has changed since the closing of the coalmine in 1980, not even the lamps that continuously light the patron saint of miners: Saint Barbe!
After visiting the coal-mine we’re going back to Tongeren to prepare for tomorrow’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege Sportif.
Today is our day to ride the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge, the day before the race itself.
One day before the pros, the most audacious of cycling fans try the slopes of Liège-Bastogne-Liège themselves. More than 6,000 participants take part in the randonnée of the Ardennes classic. The professionals are not the only ones who think La Doyenne, the ultimate cycling classic, is a nail biting experience. Amateur cyclists are nervous for the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Challenge too.
The ultimate challenge is to ride the entire course as the pros will do the day after. However, the routes of 160k and 80k will also leave you plenty of opportunity to get to know the famous climbs included La Redoute, Rosier ….
With 6,000 participants from 26 countries, the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Challenge has carved out a substantial place among cyclosportives.
Ride distances to be confirmed.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Sunday 23 April, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Today we’re going be a part of the Lotto-Soudal team. We will have breakfast at the same hotel as the Lotto-Soudal team. You can see the mechanics and soigneurs doing their last preparations for the race. After breakfast we’ll travel in the team convoy to the start of the race.
The start of todays race takes place in the centre of Liege. We will see the start of the race before heading off on our own little race. As we did during all the spring-classics, today we will test your orientation by criss-crossing through this beautiful part of Belgium to see the race.
Liège–Bastogne–Liège began in 1892 to publicise the newspaper L’Expresse. It is because the paper was published in French that the route stayed in the southern, French-speaking half of Belgium. Its equivalent in the Dutch-speaking north is the Tour of Flanders.
The first race was for amateurs, from Spa to Bastogne and back. It was won by Leon Houa, who also won the first race for professionals in 1894. Until 1991 the race finished in Liege city centre, with a flat run in to the finish. From 1992 the finish moved to the suburb of Ans, on the northern side of the city. The Côte de Saint Nicolas was added to the final kilometres, along with a final climb to the finish in Ans.
Shortly after the race we will travel to our hotel in Brussels, about a one hour drive. Tonight is our final night together so we will celebrate with a farewell dinner to celebrate our time at the Spring Classics.
Overnight: Brussels, Zaventem
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic lunch, Dinner
Monday 24 April, A Bientot
Trip ends and we head our separate ways but we hope to see you again soon. The hotel bus is available to shuttle people to the airport during the day.
Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:
- All Transport
- Services of experienced Tour Guides, including former Belgian Pro, Eric de Clercq
- Transfers from Zaventem Airport on the 14th and back on 24th April
- Accommodation in selected 3 and 4 star Hotels (with private facilities)
- Buffet breakfast daily
- 3 course evening meals on 4 nights
- Lunch on 3 days
- Guided trip to see the Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liege Bastogne Liege
- Mechanical assistance with your bike
- Sightseeing as listed
- Maps and Bikestyle Tours Itinerary
- Bikestyle Tours Cycling Jersey & Bibs
- Entry to Amstel Gold Sportif
Not Included: Entry to Liege-Bastogne-Liege Cyclo Event