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Tour of Flanders 2009 now open!

vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
You know what you have to do: http://www.sport.be/cyclingtour/rondeva ... /2009/eng/

Best sportive EVAHHHHHH!
You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

Manchester Wheelers
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Posts

  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    I recall a similar announcement from you last year when the Marmotte opened for entries. Needless to say, I ended up entering on a whim and my legs still haven't forgiven me to this day :lol:
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    Yes I still have Marmotte flashbacks: suicide.gif
    Tour of Flanders isn't tough like the Marmotte but is a great atmosphere - riding with 22,000 others is a real buzz. Give your legs something to smile about.
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • The pavé brutalised my kidneys. The weather was cold, windy & wet. The climbs were congested with walkers. I swore I'd never do it again.

    But somehow it's still quite appealing.
  • pjm-84pjm-84 Posts: 819
    Yep got this one down to do......thanks for the link
    Paul
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Not sure about the tour of flanders but where do you get the little yellow thing topping himself? - classic
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    It's one of those rides that you have to do at least once in your life. It's pure madness, you're going up these cobbled climbs, trying to ride whilst half of Belgium, some even on their town bikes, are trying to do the same.
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    pdstsp wrote:
    Not sure about the tour of flanders but where do you get the little yellow thing topping himself? - classic
    http://www.manchesterwheelers.co.uk/For ... uicide.gif
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Went in 2007, but not his year, when they had the Koppenberg.

    Vermooten - when do they announce the route?

    Vermooten's right, there's something about riding will all those other riders, and the atmosphere going up the bergs is fantastic. I distinctly remember thinking "cool" when the crowds were cheering on the Mollenberg, Paterberg and Muur. 8)

    Will open negotiations with the good lady to see if I can do this again.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • YorkmanYorkman Posts: 290
    Did you ride the 140km route or the full 260km?

    The thought of 260k that early in the year is not pleasant.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Yorkman wrote:
    Did you ride the 140km route or the full 260km?

    The thought of 260k that early in the year is not pleasant.

    140km. 260km was way too far for me, and I'm not sure it would be that interesting either.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    The 140km route includes all the "highlights", I think the longer version just takes you on a dull route towards the coast and back before joining the 140km, there are no more bergs.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Why is my back twinging but my heart pounding at the thought of having a stab at this one. 140km, all the 'best bits', chance to rplace all the bits that get trashed! Sounds good so far.
    M.Rushton
  • pjm-84pjm-84 Posts: 819
    I did the 260km in 2006 and yep it's a bit dull the first 100km or so. The start and finish are also in different places as well.
    Paul
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    I love those first 100km! Yes dull in many ways but it's the real Flanders, and the cold flat grey countryside really fcks with my head, I'm so grateful to be in the hills later on. Last year I'd been ill and ToF was my first time in the bike for almost 2 months, had to abandon after 91 miles grrrr.
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • weeveweeve Posts: 393
    Entered for first time this year. Ges without saying Im leaving my pride and joy bike (read "bike too good for me and just plain embarassing when I get beaten by belgian grandma on a 30kg hybrid" at home.... but anyone got any useful advise on set up. Usual compact 12-25 I guess...
  • TheStoneTheStone Posts: 2,291
    This is very tempting. A few questions:
    - does it always start and end on the same towns (Brugge and Ninove)
    - how much climbing in total (some routes on bikely suggest around 1500m?)
    - is there transport to/from the main towns (probably look to stay in Gent)
    - Any time limit

    Short or long is the main question.
    140km, plus ride back to Gent would be long day for me.
    260km, would be my longest ever (could take me 11 hrs!)

    ta
    exercise.png
  • TheStoneTheStone Posts: 2,291
    One other question:
    - any messing around with medical forms like the Etape?
    exercise.png
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    TheStone wrote:
    This is very tempting. A few questions:
    - does it always start and end on the same towns (Brugge and Ninove)
    The 140km starts and finishes at Ninove, the 260km starts at Brugge and finishes in Ninove.
    TheStone wrote:
    - how much climbing in total (some routes on bikely suggest around 1500m?)
    My Garmin told that the long one has 2000m of climbing, almost none of it in the first 100km.
    TheStone wrote:
    - is there transport to/from the main towns (probably look to stay in Gent)
    Yes indeed the trains are excellent. There asre trains from Gent to Brugge starting at about 610. Have a look on the Belgian railways website cloiser to the time. You have to buy 2 tickets: one for you, one for your bike.
    TheStone wrote:
    - Any time limit
    Not that I'm aware of. No timing chips or records fo your time anywhere.
    TheStone wrote:
    Short or long is the main question.
    140km, plus ride back to Gent would be long day for me.
    260km, would be my longest ever (could take me 11 hrs!)
    You can get the train from Ninove to Gent no probs, change at Aalst. Only you can decide which one to do. The 260km is long but flat so it's less kanckering than a typical 100 mile UK sportive with hills. I'm doing the 140km this year but only cos I want to save my legs for time trialling otherwise I'd deffo do the long one.
    TheStone wrote:
    any messing around with medical forms like the Etape?
    heh heh none of that stuff. And you can sign up on the day. And you get loads of free waffles and soya milk at the feed stops.
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    weeve wrote:
    Entered for first time this year. Ges without saying Im leaving my pride and joy bike (read "bike too good for me and just plain embarassing when I get beaten by belgian grandma on a 30kg hybrid" at home.... but anyone got any useful advise on set up. Usual compact 12-25 I guess...

    12-25 did me fine. Some people opt for 25mm tyres though to try to alleviate the problem of slipping between the cobbles. Fwiw, I used 23mm and was fine.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • What about wheels for this? Would some handbulits be better - or can I get away with Bontrager Race Lites? (I have some Vittoria Pave tyres already so will be happy sticking with those).

    And I can't decide between the 140k and full distance - is the full one really only like a UK 100 miler as some here are suggesting?

    Any experience / input welcome.
  • You can get away with normal wheels, most seemed to last year. I used Fulcrum 3s. As for tyres, 23cs are fine, bit less PSI seems to help. I put on some Spesh 23/25c Roubaix tyres, but this was a mistake - the resulting lack of clearance meant constant build-ups of 'Belgian toothpaste' under my front fork (Reynolds Ouzo Pro). A pal did it on Zipp 404s but it's fair to say they've never been the same since.

    The pave-riding advice we had from the locals was to keep a very light touch on the bars, stick to the centreline and go as hard as you can!

    And as to the distance, be aware that the 260k is in fact 277k (or at least it was last year). The first 100k or so are flat, pretty boring and would have been bearable last year had the weather not been absolutely foul. Do it if you want to 'tick off' having done the real Flanders deal, but if you want to enjoy the day, stick to the 140k route.

    I'd say that the full 277k Flanders distance in bad weather conditions is more gruelling than the Marmotte, despite the fact that there's less than half the climbing - and I've done both.

    I wrote up last year's ride for the club website. Link is below, FWIW:

    http://www.veloclubbeverley.org.uk/Ride ... anders.htm

    All that said, though, we never learn: planning to do Tilff-Bastogne-Tilff this year.
  • Thank you Brixton Fixed- some good info.

    Enjoyed the write up too.

    Anyone else any wsidom to impart?
  • did it 2 years ago on my c50, probably the best day I have ever had on a bike, 6 hrs to do the 140k route, all sorts of weather, and would do it again.
    mate of mine did the 260k version, don't think he has ridden a bike since.
    never seen so much bike debris on the route, the cobbles are brutal, and i rode some open pave's pumped to around 6 bar, and they helped with the ride.
    I have to say, I would recommend it to anyone, but do the miles before you go....
    63 miles to go and the break is up the road
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    I did it on a carbon frame with OpenPro rims. The key seems to be having the tyres at a slightly lower pressure, reduces chances of punctures and gives you more grip on da cobblz.

    (no WAY is it as tough as the Marmotte! )
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • Myself and a few clubmates went to Flanders for the weekend last month. I took a titanium frame and Campag Neutron wheels with Vittoria Pave tyres. The tyres are 24mm and can honestly say that they really made a difference (I was really sceptical beforehand). The climbs on the cobbles are a short sharp shock which tend to suit the heavier rider (Hurrah :lol: ) but it is the cobbled descents which do the damage - I thought I was going to lose all of my fillings. I can imagine that the climbs are a whole different experience when they are rammed with people than we experienced but I will find out next year.
  • i just had stock 23 conti 4seasons on and never punctured - but i did get a dint in my rims from the pave. my systemsix on the otherhand was brutal - wholly inappropriate :? i spent most of the ride thinking if i ever come back, it'll be with a steel or ti frame.
  • hayesuhayesu Posts: 138
    Make sure you stick around on the Sunday to watch the pros racing. It's great fun with the locals, riding between vantage points to catch them more than once. Most embarrassing moment: being overtaken on the cobbles by a woman on her turbo-charged shopper!
  • TomFTomF Posts: 494
    Hmm. A change pf plans means that this may now be a possibility.

    Mind you, I'll decide on Belgium after this weekend's trip to Ghent for the Zesdaagse. Apparently it's going to snow this weekend, and we're planning on watching the cyclocross on Sunday. :shock:
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    I'd like to do this.

    Do most of the locals do the 140K?

    I was thinking about the 260K-for the real deal

    I know a lot of people do this as a challenge. Is it like a sportive in that people are out to post the best time they can?
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • FJSFJS Posts: 4,820
    The pave-riding advice we had from the locals was to keep a very light touch on the bars, stick to the centreline and go as hard as you can!
    Yes, and stick a relatively heavy gear, keeping a steady power-grind; 'flying' over the cobbles as fast as you can but in low cadence.
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