2014 Spring Classics - Flanders + Roubaix

April 4th to April 14th, 2014

Itinerary - What's Included - Options

Over these 10 days you will experience the Tour of FlandersScheldeprijs Antwerp (with former winners such as Petacchi, Cavendish, Boonen, McEwen, Zabel and earlier; Eddy Merckx) and Paris-Roubaix. Our overnights will be in Bruges (3) / Ghent (3) / near Compiegne, FR (3) / Bruges (1).

On an athletic and racing level these races are among the most prized in cycling. They have been around for a long time and are part of the important cycling culture of Northern France and Belgium. The crowds are epic, the rides as well!

 

This trip is staffed by some of our great Belgian guides, which means that it takes place in their backyard and on their own racing grounds. Their insight is sure to be priceless.

Please read below for a daily itinerary.

 

Registrations:
A 25% deposit per person is required to reserve a spot. If places are still available when we receive your application along with deposit, you will receive notification of your registration. If the trip is sold out, you will be given the option to be placed on a waiting list or choice of another trip. Waitlist order is on a first come first serve basis as well.
 

ITINERARY

2014 SPRING CLASSICS - Flanders Week

Rate : $4295.00/person

10 nights, 11 days  -  April 4th to April 14th

Pick up / Drop off in Brussels airport

HighlightsRiding the Tour of Flanders cyclo, seeing the Pro Tour of Flanders, visiting with a team, seeing Scheldeprijs Antwerp, Paris Roubaix and experiencing the great culture of Northern France and Belgium. Rental bikes are available.

OPTIONS:  Trip insurance / Bike rental

 

Friday: Pick up at Brussels airport
Today someone from our organization will meet you at the Airport and assist you to our vehicle. We collect you from Brussels airport and bring you to our accommodation in Bruges (the Venice of the North) where we will spend the next 3 nights.
The first job will be to assemble your bike or get you fitted to your rental and Custom Getaways staff will be on hand if you have mechanical problems or need any other assistance. We'll then have a bit of time to take a walking tour of the area which we will call home for the next few days.

We'll then gather for a welcome toast and dinner where, the tour leaders will go over the fun and excitement of the days to come.

 

   
Saturday: Riding the cyclo version of "tour of Flanders"
Today is a big day! We will ride the last 120kms or 75 kms of the legendary Tour of Flanders which will include the following (in)famous short climbs of Wolvenberg, Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg, Koppenberg ( steep and cobbled), Steenbeekdries, Taaienberg, Leberg, Berendries, Valkenberg, Eikenmolen, the Wall from Geraardsbergen and Bosberg. These must be ridden at at your own pace. Belgium's obsession with bike racing is nowhere as pronounced as on this week-end;  the Tour of Flanders (Ronde Van Vlaanderen) is one of the biggest event in cycling and the "amateur" version of the race will cater to nearly 20,000 newly found friends!
 
 
Sunday: Watching "Tour of Flanders"
Brief History of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen
The Ronde is one of the most prestigious of the "5 Monuments" of cycling, or of any cycle race. It is a true endurance test which features 259 kms with more than a dozen climbs which can vary from year to year. Most of the climbs are narrow and steep, and several are cobbled. They are all tough in their own right, and the peloton also increases its speed as they near each of them so the riders will be in a good position when they start. The trick for the race favorites is to not get stuck in the middle or rear of the pack in order to avoid falls happening ahead or to be able to counter an attack.
We will drive to the market place in the center of Bruges which is where the official start takes place and afterwards we will view both the men's race and the women's World Cup race from multiple locations on the course.
 

Monday: ride to the Tour of Flanders museum
This morning we'll go for a ride to the Tour of Flanders museum in Oudenaarde. The Tour of Flanders Centre is located in the historical heart of Oudenaarde. A visit to the interactive museum consists of ten different themes. If you so desire you can use the services of a museum guide who will bring to life all of the great cycling legends. We might even get to meet of of the them!
The nature of the museum enables every visitor with the opportunity to experience the RVV (Ronde Van Vlandren)  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.
We'll also schedule one of our guests favorite today; a visit of a Belgian brewery. No trip to Belgium would be complete without such a visit!

Our overnight will be in Ghent this evening and for the next 3 nights.

 
                     
   
Tuesday: Free day for visit and shopping in Ghent
Today we take a ride to Diksmuide. We will visit The IJzertoren (Yser Tower). The IJzertoren symbolizes the demand for "No more War", written on the tower in the four languages of the fighting forces in the area during the First World War (Dutch, French, English and German). The tower (84 m) is the highest peace monument in Europe. The "Trench of Death" (Dodengang in Dutch), about 1.5 km from the center of the city, preserves the trench setting where soldiers fought under the most perilous conditions until the final offensive of September 28, 1918.

In the afternoon there will be a bit of time to catch up on some shopping and perhaps correspondence!

   
Wedsnesday: Visit Antwerp and watching "Scheldeprijs Antwerpen"
On 18 April 2007 the Scheldeprijs celebrated his 100th anniversary. A colorful bunch of top sprinters presented themselves on the Schotense Churchilllaan for a breath taking sprint. The 21-year old Britt Mark Cavendish beat very surprisingly Robbie McEwen. A new top sprinter was born!

The Scheldeprijs began a new century on 16 April 2008, with bubbling ambition and still attracting all of the top name sprinters / classic riders! The British sprinter Mark Cavendish proved once again being the fastest, this time beating Tom Boonen to the great distress of the local crowd!

We will head over to the Grand Market in Antwerp (the diamond center of the World). While the riders make a big loop we have a little time to explore the city's historical centre and get to Schoten for what is sure to be a lively race finish!

   
Thursday: Visit to Roubaix Velodrome
We make our way into French territory today and will stop en-route at the famous Roubaix Velodrome which has played host to Paris-Roubaix since 1943! We'll ride the oval imagining what it can be like to enter it after the toughest 260km of racing. We'll keep riding further South into France and drive on to our next hotel near the Compiegne Forest. Paris-Roubaix hasn't seen its start take place in Paris for quite some time. The start of the race is now in Compiegne.

                

 
Friday: Paris-Roubaix team/rider presentation
We'll take a ride on a few of the Pavé sections. Fridays is the day the pros use to ride some of the sections Through our connections with several teams we will try to get the inside information on the riding schedule of one of these teams to see if we can join them (from a distance) for a while. We will also want to go to Compiegne in time to take part in the teams and riders presentation and may make a detour by the Chateau de Chantilly en-route.

   

Saturday: Riding portions of the Hell of the North
Another big day! This is your opportunity to measure yourself on the same course as the pros. As official partners of the Paris-Roubaix Challenge, your entry to the amateur race on the cobbles is guaranteed.

After breakfast, we will make our way to Saint Quentin for the start of the 135km Gran Fondo. Arenberg forest and Carrefour de l'Arbre. These are the Alpe d'Huez of sporing classics". We'll have setup an extra feed and mechanical support station along the way.

Words simply can't describe the feeling of accomplishment you will have this evening while we may our way back to our hotel.

We'll enjoy a celebratory dinner this evening and your bed will feel twice as comfortable after such a great day!

 

   
Sunday: Watching Paris - Roubaix
A win at Paris-Roubaix is one of the most highly regarded wins on the pro circuit. So many great names are associated with this race. The winner's list reads as a who's who of cycling.

We will go to some of the team hotels before heading over to the start area where each rider will have to sign in one at a time. Once the race is off, so will we! We will see the race on several occasions, but will fast track to the first few cobbled sections to catch our first glimpse of the peloton. From then on and with the help our your knowledgeable team of guides, we will race against the pros (by car!) to see them along the route and finally at the Velodrome in Roubaix. This is truly a fantastic race finish!

Once the race is over we will head back to Belgium (Roubaix is almost on the border with Belgium) for our final overnight and dinner together.

     
Monday: Departure
Trip ends and we head our different ways hoping to see each other again (maybe on a future Tour?). We will have a couple of transfer times to get to Brussels airport.
   

 WHAT'S INCLUDED

- Transfer from/to Brussels Zaventem airport
- Hotel rooms based on double occupancy (10 nights).
- All breakfasts at the hotels
- 5 dinners

- Air-conditioned, Touring bus/minibus with Video
- Entry to the Tour of Flanders cyclo sportive
- Deluxe minibuse(s) for support with water and snacks

- visit of a brewery, RVV museum and other visits as listed.
- Guides and support staff
- 2 ride distances daily
- Water bottles

- Cycling Jersey
- Daily information with maps, cue sheets, other Tour information
- Detailed tour itinerary
- Pre-departure information detailing the trip, hotels, contact information, what to bring, and other essential info.

- Memories to last a lifetime!

 OPTIONS

- Bike rental
- Trip Insurance