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Spectating Paris-Roubaix '19. Advice please!

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Spectating Paris-Roubaix '19. Advice please!

10 Feb 2019 10:06

Could any knowledgeable poster help please?

I've planned a family holiday to Belgium and the Netherlands this Easter, where we will all enjoy time spent together rather than them tolerating my solipsistic cycling activities.

By sheer chance we just happen to be driving from Calais to Belgium on the day of PR 2019, and to a town in Belgium to which a routing via the environs of Roubaix would seem logical to those slightly cartographically challenged.

Another coincidence is that our ferry docks at midday, so our intersection with the penultimate section of cobbles just south of Roubaix would be at about 2pm.

This is where I need some help, please. I am unfamiliar with the area and I can't find the schedule of road closures, nor a map showing the exact roads used. I need to arrive at the cobbled section not so early that a long and suspicious wait is necessitated, but not so late that I either miss the race or encounter closed roads.

This has to look like an accident of fortune rather than deliberate planning. Plausible deniability is key.
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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10 Feb 2019 13:08

Ok, looks like Carrefour de L'Arbre is the one. Anybody got parking tips etc?
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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Re:

13 Feb 2019 03:47

macbindle wrote:Ok, looks like Carrefour de L'Arbre is the one. Anybody got parking tips etc?


Yeah, just outside the velodrome. That way you can watch the race on a huge tv while pretending to look at a map to find your proper destination.
Weary passengers can use the nearby restroom and enjoy some food and or drink while you plan the proper route. If asked why you parked at this location, just say a lot of people are here and someone is bound to know where we are going.
User avatar the delgados
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Re: Spectating Paris-Roubaix '19. Advice please!

13 Feb 2019 15:44

Hey! I was overseas last year (overseas for me - I'm from Canada) and caught P-R on Carrefour. I stayed with some people in Camphin-en-Pevele (which is irrelevant if you're just passing through that day) and had my bike with me (which was extremely helpful for me, but not for you if you're in a car). So my situation was a bit different, but I can offer a few points:

- I can't remember the actual time, but I think the race ends closer to 5pm than 2pm, so I think it went past around 4-4:30.

- If you're going to park, that might require a bit of walking. Again, I had my bike so I dunno, but a quick look at Google Maps suggests that if you're taking the A27, there's an exit at Camphin but not Carrefour, and by the time you're going to get there, the parking will be taken up in a lot of places, and the roads that the route is on will almost definitely be closed. I ended up watching at the entrance of Carrefour right after Camphin ends, but I walked the whole few km over the cobbles to get there. The parking on the roads in the town were full, and campers had been lining the farmer's roads by the cobbles for the whole week prior. It may be that you can find a random farmer's road to pull off and park on, but it's not going to be something you can just pop out and take a look at. Even if you wanted to watch from, say, the very start of the Camphin sector, you might have to walk 15 minutes from your car. If you are getting there a ways before the race comes by, you could always go off the autoroute by Lille and sneak closer to Carrefour by back roads, and you'd have plenty of time to figure it out, but again it sounds like you maybe don't have that much buy-in from your travelling mates.

- watching it, for me, was great but being on the cobbles was the more incredible experience, especially riding (and later walking) over the sectors and taking it in. If you do have time to walk over a sector I'd recommend it for the experience as well as for a way to get to a viewing spot. It was tough to figure out how to actually watch it because it's a flat race and it's super fast, not like mountain stages in a GT (which have been my other live watching experiences). So we ended up standing on a knoll where we could see the riders approach and snake around, and weren't right up in their faces. Then once the head of the race passed we found a TV by a camper and kept an eye on the end of the race while cheering on other riders face to face. There are lots of TVs around at people's campers or sponsor tents, so you can keep up with the race before it comes by and after it leaves.

So yeah, you'll have to be calculating about what you want your experience to be - maybe you can find a bar on route that you can hang out and watch some of the race and go out to watch it pass by while your travel mates rest comfortably in the bar. That's all I got but if you have specific questions, fire away.
skidmark
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13 Feb 2019 17:05

Cheers thanks!

I've noticed a village called Gruson just west of the Carrefour, with a section of cobbles from Gruson to the Carrefour. Plan is to park in Gruson then walk 20 minutes towards Carrefour but not quite there. See the race go past, then carry on to the big screen near the restaurant.

.Do you know if there were food stalls there at all?
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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14 Feb 2019 03:24

Good luck. I hope to make it over there eventually to watch all the spring classics. (My only experience in watching a race in person was the 2015 Worlds, as that was more of a crit style race, it would be a very different experience.)
User avatar Koronin
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Re:

14 Feb 2019 22:08

macbindle wrote:Cheers thanks!

I've noticed a village called Gruson just west of the Carrefour, with a section of cobbles from Gruson to the Carrefour. Plan is to park in Gruson then walk 20 minutes towards Carrefour but not quite there. See the race go past, then carry on to the big screen near the restaurant.

.Do you know if there were food stalls there at all?


I've been going to P-R for years with my parents. We do Arenberg and Carrefour always. Around town Camphin-en-Pévèle the town that was mentioned earlier we park the car, its the beginning of Carrefour. Gotta be lucky sometimes to find a spot to park the car but i'd say if you arrive at the town only 30-40min in advance its still okay. Leaving the town might take 30minutes since everyone will be leaving at the same time. Never been to Gruson so can't help you on that.
By clicking the link underneath and scroll down the page you'll find the time schedule of last year. It's very representative since the race barely changes.
https://www.paris-roubaix.fr/en/stage-1
I wish you good fun, most captivating race i've ever seen!
Emotional Cobble Guy
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Re:

14 Feb 2019 22:13

Koronin wrote:Good luck. I hope to make it over there eventually to watch all the spring classics. (My only experience in watching a race in person was the 2015 Worlds, as that was more of a crit style race, it would be a very different experience.)


Come over dude, before the parcours of de ronde is filled with too much VIP ****! Make it a 2month stay hehe
Emotional Cobble Guy
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Re: Re:

14 Feb 2019 22:31

Emotional Cobble Guy wrote:
Koronin wrote:Good luck. I hope to make it over there eventually to watch all the spring classics. (My only experience in watching a race in person was the 2015 Worlds, as that was more of a crit style race, it would be a very different experience.)


Come over dude, before the parcours of de ronde is filled with too much VIP ****! Make it a 2month stay hehe



Gotta get out of debt first (which I'm working on). Then we definitely could come over there. What I really would love to do is spent all of classics season over there and start the week before Flanders with all the pre races, then Flanders, Paris-Roubiax and finally the Ardennes. Plus do a bunch of sight seeing between the races. My husband and I both being cycling fans and enjoy history that area would be a perfect vacation area during classics season.
User avatar Koronin
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Re: Re:

15 Feb 2019 09:49

Koronin wrote:
Emotional Cobble Guy wrote:
Koronin wrote:Good luck. I hope to make it over there eventually to watch all the spring classics. (My only experience in watching a race in person was the 2015 Worlds, as that was more of a crit style race, it would be a very different experience.)


Come over dude, before the parcours of de ronde is filled with too much VIP ****! Make it a 2month stay hehe



Gotta get out of debt first (which I'm working on). Then we definitely could come over there. What I really would love to do is spent all of classics season over there and start the week before Flanders with all the pre races, then Flanders, Paris-Roubiax and finally the Ardennes. Plus do a bunch of sight seeing between the races. My husband and I both being cycling fans and enjoy history that area would be a perfect vacation area during classics season.


Wow sounds good =) the pre races are also nice to experience since they are less packed with spectators, you get to hear the cyclists actually breath maybe hehe. Good luck with the debt!
Emotional Cobble Guy
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15 Feb 2019 11:08

@emotional cobble guy

Thanks for the tips and link. Last question...are there food stalls at Carrefour de l'Arbre?
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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Re:

15 Feb 2019 17:44

macbindle wrote:@emotional cobble guy

Thanks for the tips and link. Last question...are there food stalls at Carrefour de l'Arbre?


You're welcome. In Camphin there has been standing a nice mobile fries stand at the church for years but last year it was missing, near the cobbles there was another one though. I bet there will always be one at least. So thats at the start of the section. Never been to the end though but there is a tavern called... take a guess... "Carrefour de l'arbre" where you'll find more stands.
Emotional Cobble Guy
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Re: Re:

15 Feb 2019 17:46

Emotional Cobble Guy wrote:
Koronin wrote:
Emotional Cobble Guy wrote:
Koronin wrote:Good luck. I hope to make it over there eventually to watch all the spring classics. (My only experience in watching a race in person was the 2015 Worlds, as that was more of a crit style race, it would be a very different experience.)


Come over dude, before the parcours of de ronde is filled with too much VIP ****! Make it a 2month stay hehe



Gotta get out of debt first (which I'm working on). Then we definitely could come over there. What I really would love to do is spent all of classics season over there and start the week before Flanders with all the pre races, then Flanders, Paris-Roubiax and finally the Ardennes. Plus do a bunch of sight seeing between the races. My husband and I both being cycling fans and enjoy history that area would be a perfect vacation area during classics season.


Wow sounds good =) the pre races are also nice to experience since they are less packed with spectators, you get to hear the cyclists actually breath maybe hehe. Good luck with the debt!



Thanks. I hope we can eventually do the whole month. Others can go to the Tour. These are the races I want to go to.


macbindle, hope you can find a good place to watch.
User avatar Koronin
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17 Feb 2019 08:54

Like Skidmark mentioned... having a bike (or other 2-wheel transportation) with you would probably come in handy in such situations. Don't know if it's feasible if you're bringing other people in the car.
User avatar Logic-is-your-friend
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17 Feb 2019 13:14

Not feasible, unfortunately. Looks like we will have plenty of time so I'm thinking we can park near Gruson and walk to Carrefour with plenty of time to get fuked up on beer and chips.
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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