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Spring Classics

 Cobbled Classics

21st March, 2018

 

SPRING

Cobbled Classics

The cobbled classics as they're known; bathe in as much history as the Grand Tours of cycling.  They're a little more nippy on the legs, as they're only a duration of 1 day - all the more opportunity for riders to mark their name against the legends of the industry.

Gent-Wevelgem

This years 80th edition of the spring classic road edition will commence on March 25th - last year King Greg Van Avermaet came out on  top as his fight talk promised, but who'll reign the 2018 thrown?   Gent Wevelgem is an annual road event held n March (one week before Tour of Flanders), based in Belgium - In Flanders Fields  and is popularly known for being a sprinters classic due to the flat terrain is the final stages.

This is a spring classic stuffed with the potential of chaos!  It’s renowned climb, the Kemmelberg, can produce drama on either of its two passes (75km and 34km) from the finish, both on its ascent as well as its infamously treacherous descent.   Crosswinds have a significant impact too AND with the addition last year of dirt road sections, this surely adds another level of unpredictability to the race. Don't forget the long stretch of flat after the last ascent of the Kemmelberg!  It sets the tail end of the race up for an eye budging, nail biting experience - with the opportunity for the head of the peloton to catch any attackers and force a sprint.

Tour of Flanders (Sportive)

A popular one on our calendar, as many of our customer participate in this classic experience - battling it out on the famous cobbles.  This year (2018), is the 102nd edition of the ' Ronde van Vlaanderen' (Tour of Flanders); and with that, comes some changes to the high endurance paced race - more gruelling short, sharp and cobbled climbs to be seen.  The route is approx.  a total distance of 250km.  Last year Philippe Gilbert took a gnarly solo break and took an epic podium win - check it out.

For the most part, it's been  a quiet classics campaign for Sky, but there’s still hope for redemption at Paris-Roubaix next week.  Here's what we learned at this year's 2018 Tour of Flanders .

Paris-Roubaix

A.K.A The Hell of the North - this event is one of the oldest (116th edition) and hardest.  The rhythm of this race is, up, up and awaaaay! Stages 21-29 are going to be nasty on the legs, with a nice stretch of cobbled roads before a Velodrome finish; a perfect blend of positioning, power and tactical skills certainly required.

Peter Sagan, the winner if this years memorable race is feeling undefeatable!  ' I have to say, this year I wasn’t involved in any crashes, I wasn’t feeling tired at the start and just tried to save energy. After I went in the attack I just kept going until the finish. I feel so much better than I have done in all the years I’ve ridden Paris-Roubaix...'

Regrettably, the cycling community has been left to mourn the sudden death of Michael Goolaerts.  Only two years in to his professional career, and 150km to go, the cobbles took him down following a heavy crash on Sundays race.

Amstel Gold Race

This year marks the 53rd edition of the famous road race.  Starting at the usual spot  at the Markt Maastricht, the route takes many twists and turns around the country, featuring the Cauberg - three times.   And the lucky riders get to tackle all the steepest climbs on the way to the finale of the race, this endurance race is one to watch!  Did you know, Dutchman Jan Raas holds the record of Amstel wins with 5 victories, including 4 consecutive victories in ’77, ’78, ’79 and ’80.

Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec

A favourite in this office! This event takes a different approach to the rest, as it takes place on a circuit that total 200km.  The route is testing as it's a constant uphill battle for the most part.  A great test for the World Champs though!

Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal

This event is relatively new in comparison to the others; only beginning in 2010.  A single day edition, just like Grand Prix Quebec.  This too is held on a 200km circuit.