Tour of Flanders Sportive Information
I thought I would write this as I couldn't find much information on the sportive on the web.
Register on the website - tickets this year didn't run out until March.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Ghent - allows cycles in the rooms, food pretty good - buffet dinner and breakfast. Double bed and Sofa Bed in the rooms and BBC1 and 2 on TV. Empty working fridge in room.
From the Channel Tunnel about 2 hours to Oudenarde. Registered on the Friday. Park up on the industrial estate and walk to the registration - very well signposted and organised.
30 minutes to the Hotel and you pass several bike shops - useful for bits. We used a bike shop called Jowan Bikes out of town. Superb shop and well worth a visit.
In the morning we left the hotel at 6am. No traffic and straight into the industrial estate to park guided by the police. Apparently after this the traffic gets horrendous. We were on the course by 7:15. It times you and videos you all around the course. The feed stops were amazingly efficient and good. Watch for your bikes as we sure we spotted people swapping bikes and riding off.
Make sure you list where all the bike shops are on the course. I blew a deralia at 40 miles and was told that the race was over - there is a broom wagon but it just takes you back to the start. We managed to find a small bike shop by luck and they fitted a new chain and rear mech in minutes!
All service points on the course appear to be Shimano based. I love Campag but am thinking about going to Shimano purely because its sold and serviced everywhere. I had real issues trying to find a Campag freehub wheel.
The course is tough but really doable as its so varied. I loved it and I'm a typical podgy bloke who should have done way more training. Make sure all bits on your bike are working 100%. Dont think of leaving anything - if the wheel is a little wobbly - buy a new one. Gear cable sticking - replace cable and outer etc - It will go wrong!
I did it on a 12-25 in the dry but couldn't do the last climb at the chain kept slipping. I would do it in a 28 next time and maybe more if its wet. There seemed to be loads of people with large dinner plates and large mechs
Entrance £20 (I think it was a while ago)
Hotel - £65 + £10/night parking + £15 breakfast + £25 buffet dinner -
Fuel from Manchester and back £100
Channel Tunnel £100
All in it was about £425 for 2 people for 2 nights with all food. It could have been done cheaper if we didn't eat in the hotel.