Welcome to Belgium
We’ll kick off our tour this morning with a leisurely breakfast before we get on our bikes and explore the roads of Flanders past.
One of our stops in the afternoon will be the Flanders museum, the perfect place to relive the 102-year history of the race. Test your knowledge, learn all the facts of the iconic bergs or past winners of the race, perhaps if you still have the legs test yourself on the virtual bike simulator.
Following our ride we have a special treat, an exclusive meeting with the greatest cyclist of all time, Eddie Merckx. If we have time afterwards we will explore some of the micro-breweries in Ghent, Belgium. Traditions, and the passing on of trade secrets from father to son, have created a unique Belgian beer culture, and over 150 breweries in the country. Dinner at your leisure this evening.
Today’s ride: 60km ride to Geerardsbergen – includes Kapelmur and Bosberg climbs
Mur de Huy
This morning we will check out of our hotel in Ghent and begin our transfer to Liege.
Before getting there, we will have our first opportunity to ride the roads of the Ardennes Classics. On today’s ride we will be joined by a very special guest, 2006 Amstel Gold race winner Frank Schleck who will also be joining us for dinner in the evening. We will cover the final stages of the 2018 Fleche Wallone course, including the famous Mur de Huy.
The Mur de Huy (in English translates to the wall of Huy) has become famous as the finishing stretch of the Fleche Wallone course, the pros tackle it 3 times, the final ascent in an uphill sprint for victory. It’s only 1.2km in length but it climbs over 120m in elevation. If you have time to sight, see on your way up be sure to check out the seven chapels along the way!
In the afternoon we will check into our hotel and head to dinner as a group.
Today’s ride: 80km rolling hills on the 2017 Fleche Wallone course, including the Mur de Huy
Our second day exploring the famous roads of the Ardennes classics. This morning it is ‘La Doyenne’ or Liege Bastogne Liege, one of the first of the five cycling monuments, first ran all the way back in 1892. For classics fans this race is almost as big as the Tour de France – a must on the bucket list of classics rides!
We will set off from our hotel after breakfast, making our way towards Spa – the original start and finish location of the race and yes, it is where the term for medicinal baths comes from. This Belgium town is one of the country’s major tourist cities, made famous for the mineral springs, home of the first casino and it also hosts the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix each year.
From Spa we will intersect the 2017 Liege Bastogne Liege course, making our way across the final challenging climbs including the Cote de la Roche and the Cote de la Redoute. The later another of the short sharp 10% climbs these classics are famous for.
This evening is at your leisure to explore the city of Liege.
Today’s ride: 80-90km rolling hills on the 2017 Liege Bastogne Liege course – includes some tough short climbs.
Maastricht – Amstel Gold
Today is our final day in the Ardennes region. We will be making our way across the border into the Netherlands to tackle the Amstel Gold course.
After breakfast we transfer by van to Vaalkenberg, where we will begin our ride for the day. We will cover many parts this year’s Amstel Gold course, like the pros we will tackle a few of the climbs of the race that come inside the final 45km, including the famous Cauberg were the race has finished a top since 2003 – it’s only 700m long but at an average of 8%.
We will spend the afternoon in Vaalkenberg, at the foot of the Cauberg where there are many shops and local restaurants to keep us entertained for the afternoon before making our way back to Liege. This evening’s dinner will be at your leisure.
Today’s ride: 80km rolling hills on the 2018 Amstel Gold course
Cobbles of Northern France
We will check out of our hotel and transfer by van to the Valenciennes region in Northern France where we will get our first taste of the cobbles of Paris Roubaix.
Test your legs on the challenging surface as we take in some of the cobbled sectors of the famous Paris-Roubaix.
Be sure to pick Stuart’s brain on what to expect on the cobbled roads of the French countryside as they differ greatly from those in Flanders.
Following our ride Stuart has made special arrangements to be able to take us all into the famous Roubaix showers, this is a privilege reserved only for past winners.
Enroute to our new hotel we will stop off for an exclusive Pro Team meet and greet with one of Stu’s old teams Mitchelton-SCOTT. We’ll hear their thoughts on Sunday’s race and get an insight into the team’s race plan and strategies.
Travel with our group to Kortrijk where you will shower and pack up before heading to Brussels for your return home.
Today’s ride: 20-40km – Flat, including several cobbled sections