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Paris-Roubaix Challenge & Cyclosportive

gaffer_slowgaffer_slow Posts: 417
Perhaps unwisely i am starting to plan to do either the Challenge or the Cyclosportive in 2016.

Slightly leaning towards the Challenge as it would allow for catching the Pro race the next day.

Has anyone done either, and can talk about how well organised the rides themselves are
- and the various packages from the multitude of providers are?

It would seem from looking at the (mostly sold out 2015) packages that the sportive itself is pretty cheap to enter, but has anyone managed to book JUST sportive entry, and then organised everything else themselves?

Not sure I fancy mass group trip, and i *think* a couple of guys sharing a twin room, in central Roubaix - doing the velodrome start 140km Challenge and then the next day just watching the race in a bar before making out way to the velodrome might be better, perhaps even better value.

Thanks

Posts

  • kirkeekirkee Posts: 369
    I went over with a small group last year and did the Roubaix Velo Club sportive 220km event held every two years. I have not experienced the ASO Roubaix challenge but from what I have heard the club event is the better of the two, due to- its the most authentic ride route covering all sections of pave, finishes with a lap of the velodrome (incl lap bell ringer!) and showers in the iconic shower block. The whole event had a great atmosphere from start to finish, the organisation was top notch. The volunteers manning the feed stops provided as much food as you could manage, with mechanical assistance on location. You receive a complimentary beer and sandwich post ride after you've had a shower so you can chill out and take in the days ride and leave when your ready.
    I read that the RBX club event has had rider numbers decrease year on year since the ASO event started. Seeing the pro race I guess is ASO's biggest draw. The ASO event will get bigger year on year but Id bet it wont have the refinement of the club event that's getting smaller. I know which ride Id do again and it wouldn't be the one in April.
    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
  • diplodicusdiplodicus Posts: 605
    Just for balance. Myself and a mate did the ASO challenge last year and are doing it again this year.

    We did the 170km route from Busigny to Roubaix which take in all the pave, and does finish in the velodrome but not a lap and a half like the pro race.

    The atmosphere is second to none. You have spectators in their camper vans, set up for cheering the pros the next day, that seemed happy to drink beer and cheer us on. The organisation was brilliant with bags delivered fro Busigny to the velodrome, air bridge at the start, all the signage of the pro event, camera bikes zooming up and down and great feed stations.

    The next day was also great. We found a spot on the Trouee d Arenberg to watch. The speed the pros hit that section at has to be seen to be believed :shock:

    Gaffer go for it, it is dead easy to organise. Book one hotel in Busigny and one in Roubaix. Drive over, leave car at Busigny, do ride, catch train in morning with bikes, pick up car and watch the race. All in all a great weekend!
  • kirkeekirkee Posts: 369
    Both options covered and after all it is the Paris Roubaix so you cant lose whichever one you do. If you only do one event I say do the original club ride, refinements like the showers, cobblestone trophy like the winners get (albeit a bit smaller tho'), by virtue of the falling rider numbers it may not be ran in years to come? The challenge will always be an option as its held every year. I was going to do the challenge this April with the same lads but we are off to Flanders instead. The only reason we didn't go to RBX again was that we felt we had done the better 'ride' of the two on offer. It would be interesting to hear from someone who has rode both events to get the best most balanced opinion. If watching the pro race is the biggest draw for you then its got to be the April ride?
    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
  • kirkeekirkee Posts: 369
    Regarding organising the club ride really easy, booked online. We got into a cheap chain hotel in Tourcoing 20mins from velodrome. Park near velodrome early in morning, pre drop bag with shower gear/change of clothes at coach point, load bikes and jump on coach to start. Do ride, luggage is placed at pick up point at club for you to pick up ready for shower and apres ride beer.
    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
  • gaffer_slowgaffer_slow Posts: 417
    edited August 2015
    diplodicus wrote:
    Book one hotel in Busigny and one in Roubaix. Drive over, leave car at Busigny, do ride, catch train in morning with bikes, pick up car and watch the race. All in all a great weekend!

    thanks for the encouragement.

    How accommodating are the hotels about bike storage?
  • diplodicusdiplodicus Posts: 605
    It's France :D Nobody seems to be bothered by us walking our bikes into the hotel bedrooms. We tend to book the motel type, Mr Bed , Ibis, B&B Hotels etc, and never had a problem.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,865
    +1 for the 2016 Roubaix Velo club event. Understated, much cheaper, greatly organised and chilled out. I didn't even have to queue to shower in the velodrome, although there was a queue to shower in Cancellara's cubicle, but I went for Van Summeren's one, which nobody seemed to care about...

    The Velodrome and the shower are worth the last few painful sectors, when you really have enough of it and just want it to be over.

    The tipping point for me is generally Mons En Pevele, after that I just can't bear it anymore... :D
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,238
    Did the Roubaix Velo Club Cyclosportive last year... Top notch, and cost next to nothing! Well signed, great feed stations, all the cobbles and fun of P-R, thousands of cyclists from all over the place, finish on the velodrome, get a cobble and a beer afterward, shower in the famous showers, I could go on! Cant be sure, but think entry was about €10! Will be there in 2016.

    Our report: https://snookcycling.wordpress.com/roubaix/

    Havent done the Skoda one, but did their Tour of Flanders Sportive last year, and it was fantastic.
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    Doing the PR Challenge in a few weeks, may be back for the club sportive next year if it is as good as I think it will be. Watching the Pro Race is a big draw this year but riding close to the full route is also appealing.
  • TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
    Im doing the Skoda Flanders this year as want to do the Roubaix club event next year after reading on here a number of really good things about it

    As excited as i am about Flanders i am already excited about Roubaix in 2016 !!
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0

    http://www.strava.com/athletes/goodhewt
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,843
    if you decide you want an organised trip try pyreneescycling.co.uk

    rob's a great guy, and despite being based in the pyrenees they've ran trips to paris-roubaix the past few years
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
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