courtesy of the incredibly generous Nico and his excellent Go4Cycling team.
|A section of the more civilised pave - to be ridden at full power and on the crest, at least according my old chum Gary.|
|Johann Museeuw, 2002.|
|A Velocast design - from the finest cycling Podcast out there.|
|Full details of the routes, including GPX downloads, can be found HERE.|
|Perfect: a start and finish in the Roubaix Velodrome, here;s the MAP.|
Sunday 13th April: After another early breakfast, with no doubt lots of coffee, water, juice and bacon butty's, we all jump in the fine Go4cycling VIP van(s) (complete with large flat screen TV, race commentary and plenty of Belgian and French nibbles and tipples) and head for the start village in Compiègne, there to wander the service course, chat to - and advise - the riders, DS's, mechanics, and generally mingle and absorb the atmosphere of this truly brutal yet magnificant sporting spectacle.
|The support van - look who's driving! I wonder what happened to Bart?|
I'm not, at this point certain, where we will view the finish of the race, however I have no doubt that Go4cycling will have something very special up their sleeves!
When the dust has settled and the victor crowned we will slowly make our way back to Lille where I will have to say my fond farewell to my good friend Nico, Bart, Patrick and all their clients - who will be staying another night.
Some of us have to work on Monday, so back to the very rewarding day job of Applied Science lecturing and Physics teaching. I wonder how long it will be before my fine and talented students beg me to 'stop with the Roubaix already!' Little do they know what powerpoint slides await :-)
Ah, what dreams may come true!
My bike set up, for those interested:
Serotta Ottrott SE with Shimano 7800 Dura Ace (54/39 and 11-25), with Ambrosio Varo wheels, Vittoria Open Pave clincher tyres, touring inner tubes with sealant (Doc Blue?. Single taped bars for me though. I'll add a metal bottle cage and rubber band to keep the bottle in place and carry my spare tubes, pump, etc, in my rear pockets - I don't want to lose the saddle bag!
The next big event of me is scheduled to take place on the following week on Easter Monday.
The Skoda Velodom 100: 124.6 km, with a 45 km gentle ride home.
|Click here for maps, profiles and route downloads.|
There is nothing then planned until June when I have booked my chum Bernd and I entry into the finest and most wonderfully eccentric cycling weekends you could wish for...
The Retro Ronde 2014: 14th and 15th June, 2014.
Saturday 14th June:
After loading Sophia and Bernd's chosen trusty steel steed into his trusty VW van - which WILL NOT break down again - we take a leisurely drive to Oudenaarde to sign in, collect our numbers and join the mornings 'social group ride', which will see us pootling up and down a few Helligen, including the Paterberg and Koppenburg. On return to the town and a bite to eat we'll drive to our now traditional B&B, the B&B Latemberg in Sint-Maria-Latem. Wim and Marina run a superb and very reasonably priced 3 roomed place only 10 km along the river from Oudenaarde. I highly recommend it to all cyclists and travellers. I love it... well it does have a sauna, beautiful garden and absolutely fantastic communal room. Just take a look at this...
|Communal living room with TV, PC, honor code bar, and terrace.|
|The programme of events is HERE|
Sunday 15th June:
The big day... The 8th edition of the magical Retro Ronde!
In true Flandrian fashion the Retro Ronde 100 embraces the cobbles! We'll head up the Tiegemberg which is followed almost immediately by the Oude Kwaremont and then the little know but quite possibly the steepest Le Rampe - the disaster! Several more later and we'll crawl up the Taaienberg too.
Here's are two fine audio-visual tasters from 2013...
Ah, heady days indeed!
My final event - so far - involves a very generous invitation to Les Alpes in late August for my first taste of serious mountain climbing and descending. 'Danke' my fine old chums Tim and Chris. Rouleurs and scholars both!
More to come as and when events are booked.
If you are attending any of these events please do get and touch or even pat me on shoulder and say 'Hi!'
Bon Courage all, tomorrow, we ride!