Spring Classics (Roubaix, Flanders)

raygvega Posts: 2
edited January 2017 in Tour & expedition
If anyone can come to my rescue and has lived the experience. I really want to go watch these two races since they are back to back on the weekend, but I am not familiar on how easy it would be to get there or what would be the best option to take as how to get there.
Here is a little background, currently I am studying in Barcelona so crossing over the Atlantic part is done, one step at a time right? haha.

The options for Roubaix are:
1. Flying to Lille and bus it to Roubaix
2. Flying to Brussels and bus it to Roubaix
Has anyone done this?
Which would you recommend?
Is there another way to get there?
Any tips in regards to sleeping arrangements (planing to pay for an AirBnB)

The Flanders option.
1. Fly to Brussels and bus/train down to Oudeaanarde
Is this the best option?
I know there is a shuttle so ill be using that to establish myself on one of the 'bergs'
Any other tips or recommendations? Past experiences? What not to do?

Thank you in advance!!



  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Roubaix is a suburb of Lille, so I'd start from them - not the nicest part of town though so probably better staying in the centre of Lille - are you planning to ride out to the course or staying in the velodrome for the finish? For Flanders, Oudenaarde is the best - you could try taking / hiring a bike and head out the Paterberg, Koppenberg or Oude Kwaremont - all are a short distance away. They only go up the Koppenberg once and given it's closest to Oudenaarde will probably be the busiest and you won't get roadside on the climb with a bike, it too narrow. Paterberg gets two traverses, so possibly the first time will see the race-winning break and the second could be the race-winning assault. There will be big-screens on the course or in Oudenaarde for the finish. It feels like half of Flanders tries to follow the race so best to pick a spot if you don't know the geography - you can pick up local route maps in the RvV Centrum in Oudenaarde.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • kirkee
    kirkee Posts: 369
    For Roubaix, as mentioned could head for velodrome- or another option that I am using for 2017 is to get accom at Villeneuve-d'Ascq, its nearby to Lille. Its also relatively close to the Carrefour D'larbe/Gruson pave sections. If you have or rent a bike? You will be ideally placed to ride some sections in both directions or get taxi to pave watch race on the day if you don't have a bike. I am not aware of any shuttle bus arrangement based out of velodrome for watching the race like for the RVV. If there is then that would be good. I know that from watching on TV that the Gruson area is a good place to see the race from. I have rode the route but never watched PRbx live so cannot comment on whether the main pave sections have big screens, beer stalls etc set up as they do around alot of the bergs for the RVV. Should be a good trip whatever you do.
    Caveat - I buy and ride cheap, however, I reserve the right to advise on expensive kit that I have never actually used and possibly never will
  • dish_dash
    dish_dash Posts: 5,612
    - It's tricky to see more than one part of the race if you don't have a car.
    - My recommendation would be to either head straight to the velodrome, or as mentioned above go to Carrefour D'larbe.
    - I did the latter and there was a big tv and plenty of crowds. And you get a decent view of the race towards the sharp end.
    - If you do Carrefour D'labre then take your own food and drink, I don't remember many stalls and the main restaurant/bar there is taken over for VIPs.
    - You could also go to the Arenberg but that tends to get super packed so get there early! I'd also recommend being towards the end of the trench rather than the beginning for the view and because the riders are more spread out by then and you're more likely to see some stragglers.
    - I did some riding along the northern half of the course and it is worth noting that the whole area is a bit grim and there aren't many places to stop and eat etc. So aim to be quite self sufficient.

    - This is really set up for roadside spectators and if you only can do one, this is the one to do.
    - Stay in either Oudenaarde or Ghent, which is quite a cool city with a lot of different bars/restaurants and cultural stuff.
    - The race finishes in Oudenaarde and will be a bit more atmospheric if you just want to go for the race- go a day early and watch the sportive riders come through the square to their finish (spotted several former pros).
    In Oudenaarde you have to visit the Ronde museum just by the town square - it gives a full history with lots of jerseys, bikes, photos etc.
    - From Oudenaarde there are a number of 'public villages', basically fan zone areas which you should head to. These are on Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg, Kruisberg, Koppenberg and the finish line. There will be buses running to all of these locations from Oudenaarde. Each village will have several tv screens, food and beer outlets and a number of other promo stalls. The bus and entry to the village is all free, though there are some swanky VIP tents if you fancy that!
    - The Flanders course now has a loop in it. That means that on last year's route the race went over the Paterberg twice and Oude Kwaremont three times. So the obvious choice was to make a day of it and head to Oude Kwaremont.
    - The first time the mens race came through was quite early, then we saw the women, a special invite race (including some 'famous' riders including the GCN boys), and some juniors, followed by the mens race then coming through twice in quick succession. Saw Sagan powering away...
    - There is a great atmosphere and its all very well organised. Everyone is super friendly and it's a great day!
    - The Ronde really is a major sporting event in Belgium and our B&B owners had collected two newspaper pullouts as well as the official spectator pack for us. These are also readily available around town also. The official pack, also free, will give details on race timings as well as bus locations etc. I think most of this gets put upon the offical website also, though all much closer to race day.

    Have a great time!