The ‘Spring Classics’ are arguably the most prestigious one day races on the international World Tour cycling calendar, taking place each season throughout March-April.
Widely known for their sheer brutality in nature, travelling over some of Europe’s most challenging terrain; from the cobbles of North Belgium to the pavé from Paris to Roubaix, onto the relentlessly steep climbs of the Ardennes and beyond to Italy. Without fail, each Classic delivers bike racing at its highest level - where the aggressors shine and the strongest riders persistently come out on top.
On the contrary, for the spectator, the Classics are a much more pleasant experience. Each year, the entirety of the Classics period brings thousands of die-hard fans and with that, incredibly electric atmospheres. There’s rarely a dull moment, no matter the weather; every cobbled berg and pavéd sector religiously lined with cheerful crowds, excitement and the smell of fresh frites in the air!
There’s simply nothing like the thrill of experiencing a Spring Classic and this April, we’ll be lapping it up for 11 straight days.
Hosted by the Classics master himself; Paris-Roubaix 2007 champion, Stuart O’Grady.
Having spent nearly 20 seasons racing professionally and one of a select special few to have earned one of the most sought after trophies in cycling, the Roubaix rock - Stuart’s knowledge and expertise when it comes to the Classics is simply unbeatable. He will not only be hosting the 11 day tour, but will be out there on the roads with guests, sharing tips on how to tackle the cobbles, race tactics or predictions and will no doubt have many-a story to share from his own pro days and in particular his momentous Paris-Roubaix victory.
Bonus - as a former winner, his prestige will allow guests VIP access into the famous Roubaix showers, amongst many other highlights throughout the trip.
Throughout the 11 days, we will be tackling a total of five Classics courses by bike, to truly see for ourselves just how tough the pro’s have it. Note - expect a bumpy ride!
Kicking off with the famous Ronde van Vlaanderen (RVV) - we’ll be in for some serious adventure, as we take on the RVV Cyclo (sportif ride) a day prior to the official race. This is the perfect opportunity to ride all of the most talked about Flanderian bergs and sectors, including the likes of; The Koppenberg, Oude Kwaremont and the gruelling Paterberg.
Concluding the Tour of Flanders, we will be setting off for the Ardennes to conquer the trio of Ardennes Classics. We will ride the race routes of Flèche Wallone, tackling the infamous Mur de Huy while we’re at it. Followed by the oldest Classic there is (having been held since 1892) - Liege Bastonne Liege and finally we’ll venture across to the Netherlands for Amstel Gold, contesting a few rep’s of the unforgiving Cauberg while we’re at it!
From there, it will be all about the pavé as we hit Northern France for the Queen of Classics - Paris-Roubaix. Alike Flanders, we will also take on the Paris-Roubaix challenge ride ahead of race day, allowing the unique chance to experience the famous pavéd sectors in a race-like environment. Guests will undoubtedly arrive to the finish exhausted, depleted, yet high on adrenaline and ecstatic following one ‘hell of a ride’!
We will be experiencing the two most talked about, thrilling monuments of cycling; The Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix LIVE, joining the thousands of other die-hard fans and the sensational atmosphere they bring.
At the Tour of Flanders, we’ll be hitting the iconic Oude Kwaremont - a prime position to catch all the best action and our chance to see the peloton battle it out 3 times over the brutal Belgian berg. Expect plenty of cheer and perhaps a few beers!
To round out our trip on an absolute high, we’ll be catching the best of the ‘Hell of the North’ 2019 alongside Stuart O’Grady. Starting our day on the relentless Trouée d’Arenberg pavé sector, to see up close just how quick the pro’s fly by - teeth gritted, elbows out and all. We will then, using our VIP operator access make our way to the official hospitality area perfectly placed on the final corner into the finishing Roubaix Velodrome. We’ll kick back to watch the remainder of the race on the big screens over lunch and drinks, before using our VIP access to step into the inner circle of the famous Roubaix velodrome and experience a Grand Finale LIVE like no other! If it’s anything like previous years, it’ll undoubtedly be a jaw-dropping, nail biting, absolute spectacle to see.
Could we see Peter Sagan do the double?
Having Stuart O’Grady as your host, inevitably means you will meet a fellow cycling legend or three throughout the trip.
In 2019, we are delighted to be once again joining the greatest cyclist of all time, Eddy Merckx for an exclusive lunch. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience for guests to hear all about the phenomenal career of Eddy ‘The Cannibal’ Merckx and chat over lunch to cycling’s ultimate great.
Throughout the trip, we will also be enjoying a meet & greet with a Pro Team ahead of race day; a fantastic insight to see how a pro team operates ahead of a Classic. From rider pre race day antics, to mechanics avidly preparing equipment and team directors finalising race day plans.
You really haven’t experienced the best of cycling yet until you have lived and breathed the Spring Classics. There are still several places remaining on our 11 day ‘Cobble Classics with Stuart O’Grady’ tour - Join us next April for one hell of a ride!