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Hi all,

After a dream competition win which meant I followed the 2011 Tour of Flanders and Liege from a sat tv equipped car, playing Belgium hopscotch along the way,I am returning to ride the cyclosportives in 2012: Ronde, Roubaix, Amstel, Liege...

Has anyone got any tips, based on their personal experience, of riding these events? My main concern is wheels.

If you are looking to attend the event then I can recommend 100% www.go4cycling.com who have VIP access to the teams and are accompanied by classics legend Johan Museeuw!

Thanks in advance,

Nick

2 comments

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Adam Buckland_ASD [26 posts] 4 years ago
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Hi Nick,

I have never managed to do any of the sportives so none of this is from personal experience but I ride with quite a few guys who have done Roubaix and Flanders. It would seem that ultra stiff factory wheels set are not the way forward at Roubaix (not because the wheels won't cope but for the sake of comfort!)but seem quite common at Flanders, of the guys I know who have done Roubaix the ones who were quickest AND enjoyed it most rode CX bikes with very broad protected road clinchers on 32 hole open pro rims.

In summery I think food quality hand builts with a high spoke count and as broad a tyre as your frame can cope with.

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Rob Simmonds [251 posts] 4 years ago
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I'd agree with that. I rode the Ronde sportive last year and did some of the P-R route. I was on a custom Cyfac with (iirc) 27c tubulars. I found the cobbles *very* hard going. My tips:-

* Run big fat tyres (28s or possibly even fatter)
* Use wire bottle cages, it was incredible how many stray bottles there were laying around. You can bend wire cages to give a stiffer grip. You can't do that with carbon.
* Make sure everythign else on your bike is secured (pump, saddlebag etc).
* Train. Train hard. Do sprint reps or something equally horrible. The effort required to ride the cobbles felt like sprinting hard uphill and it's incredibly draining.