Duration: 4 days (3 nights)
Dates: Friday 12th – Monday 15th April 2019
Start-Finish: Lille TGV Station (collection only) and/or Zaventem Airport
Accommodation: 2 nights Ieper, 1 night Brussels
Group Size: Maximum 15 people (3 Staff)
Suitable for: Cyclists and Non Cyclists
TRIP COST: A$2450.00 per person twin share.
OPTIONAL SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: A$290.00
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If traveling 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.
Eric is a native Belgian whose career spanned 11 years from 1991 to 2002, in which he had 19 victories including a stage win in the Tour of Britain. He is one of the hard men of Belgium having raced the big Classics such as Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix. Eric rode for La William-Duvel from 1991-1993, and Collstrop from 1994-2002.After he retired from racing, Eric became a Director Sportif from 2004-2007 for the Vlaanderen Women’s Pro Team. It was here that Eric learnt the organisational skills that make him such an asset to Bikestyle Tours.
Eric has been with Bikestyle Tours for several years and has run trips to the Spring Classics, Giro d’Italia, La Vuelta a Espana and of course, le Tour de France. Speaking three languages, you will find Eric to be a very capable guide and good guy to socialise with after a ride.
Today we collect you from Zaventem airport in Brussels or Lille TGV Station and take you to our home for the next 2 nights in Ieper or Ypres as it is also known. Lille is a short one hour from Paris or Charles de Gaulle airport. We recommend a mid-morning arrival.
Like no other European city, Ieper will give you the opportunity to fully experience what the Great War was really like. No other city has such interesting medieval story to tell and no other city has combined its past elements better into a modern place bubbling with enthusiasm for the future. Dive into Ieper’s medieval past in the town centre and pay a visit to the Cloth Hall on one of the most beautiful market squares of Belgium or go for a walk around the 17th Century Vauban ramparts. The very beautiful and grand Main Square is full of life with restaurants and cafes flanked by the museum and town hall on one side.
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.
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.
To complete your day we will visit the Menin Gate to watch the last post.
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.
Easier Ride Option
Welcome Dinner (with drinks)
Harder Ride Option
We have an amazing plan ahead, 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.
Easier Ride Option
Harder Ride Option
This morning we will head off to Paris Roubaix, the Hell of the North or l’enfer du nord as the French say.
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.
Then our chase begins and goes something like this:
Final times to be confirmed when race schedule is released.
We will head straight to the cobble stone area at Inchy where will see the race pass over a long and difficult section of pavé (cobble stones), as well as enjoy our picnic lunch.
13h25 : First cobble stone area at Inchy, Length of pavé : 1800 m
14h40 : Haveluy, Length of pavé : 2500 m
15h45 : Orchies, Length of pavé : 1700 m From Orchies will then head to the Roubaix velodrome to await the arrival of the 2015 winner.
17h30 : Velodrome
18h30 : After we have visited the finish area your day at Paris-Roubaix comes to an end. In between the different stops we will follow the race on TV in our vehicles and we will provide a picnic lunch with drinks and snacks during the day.
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 where it all began 10 days ago!
Watching Race – No Ride
Breakfast, Picnic Lunch
Watching Race – No Ride
Sadly, our trip comes to an end today. We hope have enjoyed the Paris Roubaix experience and challenged yourself on some of the toughest cobbled 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.
Tour cost is per person twin share and includes: