05-Jul-2014 - 10-Jul-2014
Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
Suitable for: Weekend Warrior
Prices from: $4495
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The Tour de France will head once again into North-Eastern France in 2014, and Phil has designed an exciting tour that takes in the best of what the North of France and Belgium have to offer. This is the perfect year to spectate at the greatest stage race in the world, whilst taking the opportunity to experience first-hand some of the grueling secteurs of road that have been used in such one-day classics as Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem.
In addition to Phil’s support you will be joined by another ex-professional cyclist in Rudy Rogiers, whose palmarés is highlighted by a 2nd place to Sean Kelly in the 1984 Paris Roubaix. Highlights of the riding will be the Koppenburg, Kemmelerg, Paterberg, and some secteurs of pavé traditionally used in the Paris Roubaix and this year used in Stage 5 of le Tour.
Belgium is full of small, sleepy towns, connected by labyrinth-like networks of winding country roads that make for excellent riding. Better yet, every one of these towns is guaranteed to contain those other essential elements of a memorable ride: patisseries, boulangeries, and purveyors of fine Belgian beers. Opportunities to indulge in this respect won’t be wasted either.
Phil Anderson Cycling is proud to offer his guests the opportunity to rent an Oppy C6 for the duration of their European cycling trip.
Further information on the bike hire is available here.
Departure time & point
July 5, 2014
10:00 am at the NH Brussels Airport Hotel
Type of package
TDF Stage 1: Leeds > Harrogate, 190 km
Today's Ride: 30km, flat.
We will meet you at the Brussels airport hotel to begin the tour with a short transfer to our hotel in Kortrijk,a central location for the week. The trip will be adjourned half way for lunch in beautiful Ghent, a vibrant university town and well worth a stop.
Kortrijk is perfectly situated for us to take on some classic Belgian rides as well as to view the first few stages of le Tour after the peleton leaves Britain. There are also plenty of Belgian pubs, cafes and restaurants to explore at your leisure as well as an abundance of historically significant medieval architecture.
Upon arrival at the hotel we’ll assist you with building your bike if you brought your own, or with adjusting your Malvern Star if you are hiring from our fleet.
Today we’ll take an easy little meander along some of the canals that this part of the world is famous for. Whilst we get to know each other and the European riding experience, we’ll be abstaining from any difficult cobbles today. If all goes well, today will present an opportunity for a patisserie stop on the way home. It’s a relaxed start, but there’ll be plenty of challenges to come!
Following the ride we’ll take a trip to Leper to witness the sounding of the last post and welcome you to le Tour over dinner. Every evening at 8 o’clock this tribute has been played in memory of the allied soldiers who died here in the battles of Ypres Salient during the First World War.
TDF Stage 2: York > Sheffield, 200 km
Today's Ride: 105km, flat.
Today’s ride will be the longest of our tour and takes advantage of our proximity to the famed tourist city of Bruges. Don’t let the ubiquity of this town in travel brochures turn you off—it really is a genuinely beautiful place to visit. It has also been the start town of the Tour of Flanders for the race’s past few editions. We will take a route that includes the iconic Kemmelberg, a climb featured in such races as Gent-Wevelgem, Three Days of de Panne and the Tour of Flanders itself. At 153m, this is the highest cobbled berg in West Flanders. We’ll then wind our north to Bruges in time for lunch, and allow some more time to take in the World-Heritage listed alleyways and canals. Following this we’ll take the easy option of a van ride home.
TDF Stage 3: Cambridge > London, 170 km
Today's Ride: 80km: some of the most challenging flat kilometres you are likely to encounter.
Today we will take a sample of what the Tour de France peloton will face in Stage 5, and the Paris-Roubaix has faced every year for over a century: The legendary pavé outside the forest of Arenberg.
We’ll start our ride from just outside of Wallers and head south through what will be our first few sections of pavé—sections that are usually used in the latter kilometres of the Paris-Roubaix and where the scene has been set for many race-defining splits in the race’s history. It was also just after this section that George Hincapie’s steerer tube snapped in the 2006 edition of the race. The Forest of Arenberg pave secteur lasts 4 gruelling kilometres, and really is challenging terrain, but that’s why we do it! We’ll continue on to cover a section of this year’s Tour de France Stage 5 course before looping back toward Wallers for a late lunch.
This will be a memorable day on the bike as you take in the history of some great races and get a first-hand experience of riding real, “baby-head” sized cobbles. These roads will be taxing like none you’ve ridden back home, but ultimately rewarding because of it. You’ll feel like you’re floating when you return home for your regular weekend ride and you will become addicted to the Spring Classics as a result.
TDF Stage 4: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage > Lille Métropole, 164 km
Today's Ride: 80km with three Belgian cobbled bergs.
Today’s stage welcomes the peloton back to the European continent.
The sprinter’s teams of Cannondale and Omega-Pharma will be seeking a bunch sprint today, whilst the one-day specialists will be hoping the terrain proves tough enough for a small group to prevail. The Tour de France specialists do not enjoy the pave, the road to Paris is a long way off and as we know the pave can take a toll on your legs.
We’ll be there regardless to see a Tour de France stage winner cross the line.
Today is the day on which we tackle some classic bergs of the famed Tour of Flanders route. We will ride from our hotel to take on the epic monuments of the Oude Kwaremont, Patersberg, and the feared Koppenberg.
The Oude Kwaremont was the penultimate climb of the 2012 Tour of Flanders and is 2.2km long with a maximum gradient of 11%. This is a relatively easy gradient for this part of the world, but also the longest cobbled climb in Flanders. Next in line is the Paterberg. Only 400m long but with a maximum gradient of 20% over cobbles, it shouldn’t be underestimated. Fabian Cancellara launched an effective attack here on his way to winning the 2013 Tour of Flanders. The most famous of today’s climbs, the Koppenberg, will also be the hardest. It lasts for 600m and peaks at 22%, but it’s the cobbles that will be most challenging. This climb has been in the Tour of Flanders since 1976, but has been omitted at various times due to the sheer degradation of the cobbles. It was re-paved in 2006 with hand-cut stone imported from Italy and has been used in every edition since.
We will call by Oudenaarde, the finishing town of the Tour of Flanders, where we’ll visit the Tour of Flanders Museum to add to the experience of this historical event. In typical Belgian style, the museum has a bicycle-friendly pub attached for us to enjoy a self-congratulatory mid-ride beer should such a thing appeal. The remainder of the ride will be a more relaxing roll down to Villeneuve-d’Ascq, where we can cheer the riders as le Tour charges toward a sprint for the stage 4 finish line.
TDF Stage 5: Ypres > Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 156km
Today's Ride: 70km
This is the day on which the Tour parcours will include pavé.
Today the Tour de France is flavoured with a touch of Paris-Roubaix. The latter kilometres of le Tour’s stage 5 will be through the gruelling Forest of Arenberg, famous for its horrendous secteurs of pavé that we rode yesterday, so you’ll know exactly what it is like for the riders. Today won’t reveal the winner of the 2014 Tour, but it could well end some campaigns, such as happened to Frank Schleck on a similar stage in 2012. It will be interesting to see how the General Classification teams try to limit the danger of race-ruining crashes and time losses whilst the classics riders try to make the most of a rare opportunity to inflict classics-style damage on a Tour peloton.
Today we’ll ride from the hotel to intercept the novelty of le Tour on its way over the pavé that we became familiar with on day three of our tour. This is the time to experience the spectacle in its entirety, from cheering on the likely doomed breakaway to jostling with the rest of them as the caravane publicité passes in all its glory. The ride won’t be as hard as the last couple of days, but we’ll still be challenged by this 70km ride.
After the race passes we’ll make the return journey in vans and have time to freshen-up a little before our final night together and farewell dinner.
TDF Stage 6: Arras > Reims, 194km
The morning is the last day of our Summer Classics tour, but we have one more activity in mind. Once checked out of the hotel we’ll drive down to Arras to see the festivities of a stage départ. The town will be alive with action well before the riders arrive, but when they do this is a great time to see them all up close as they roll to the line.
You will have the choice to either extend your stay in our wonderful accommodation or we can assist after the stage start with a transfer to the nearest TGV station for your onward travels.
Today is the end of services provided by Phil Anderson Cycling Tour Travel representatives unless you are travelling with us to the next stage of the Tour de France.
- 5 nights accommodation in luxurious 4-star accommodation.
- Daily breakfast and 2 dinners.
- Access to Australia’s Tour de France legend Phil Anderson.
- Local Professional staff and mechanic support.
- Luxury transportation.
- Support Vehicles on all rides.
- Rides with Phil and his experienced support staff.
- Energy bars, gels and powders on ride days.
- Pick-up and drop-off to and from central Brussels.
- Road book of the tour including ride maps, gradient charts and more
- Phil Anderson Cycling Tours ride pack including 2 Phil Anderson Cycling Tours cycling jerseys
- Meals other than those specified
- Drinks other than those specified
- Bike Hire- available upon request. Contact our friendly staff at Phil Anderson Cycling for details.
- Airfares- available upon request. Contact our friendly staff at Phil Anderson Cycling for details.