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Paris-Roubaix "Tour" and/or Cyclo

With the both the actual event and cyclo coming up, I'm looking to duck over the channel to do at least the first, if not both. So this is aimed at those either looking to do the same and/or those who've done them.

There's a 3 night trip being offered by Sports Tours International, where you get to ride from the Arrenberg Forrest to the velodrome on the day before the race itself. Obviously watching the race on raceday as well.

So;
a) has anyone done this tour before, or have had any dealings with Sports Tours International? Any recommendations or tales of being on their trips?

b) any tips for riding the cobbles? I've picked up that slightly wider tyres (25 or 28mm) is a good start.

c) anyone done the Paris-Roubaix cyclo in june? Is it worthwhile, or would the 98kms from the Arrenberg Forrest do the trick?

And before anyone says it, I've done a search of the General forum on the subject and been through 16pages of threads (most of which were only posts by RVD4ROUBAIX)...:D

Cheers for any thoughts!
 
Mar 17, 2009
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My wife and I went to the Spring Classics week in '05. Tour of Flanders, GW and PR through Graham Sporting tours. It was awsome. But Graham sold the company, I think. Last year we tried to book another trip through the "new company." It would have be 5th trip. The new ppl screwed around and them blew us off. We ended up better off doing a self guided through another company. Which for us was better. Graham is great, but the new company does general sports trips. We will be over again doing Tour of Flander, cyclotourist, GW and PR again this year. Definitely go if you can. I like like Flanders better then PR. My wife like Roubix. :D
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Archibald said:
And before anyone says it, I've done a search of the General forum on the subject and been through 16pages of threads (most of which were only posts by RVD4ROUBAIX)...:D

Guilty as charged. :D I've only done self guided and with friends, but for Roubaix pavé you're going to want the widest tire you can get away with, 28's are good. Lots of MTB and Cross Bikes at those cyclosportives too. If I wasn't trying to get a ride at the Giro this year I would have went to France to do the full Roubaix on a 29'er.....plush. France has better food, Belgium has better beer. Do both for sure and send us some postcards!
 
Mar 31, 2009
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The full 'cyclo' is a tough proposition, I've ridden it a few times - starting from Raismes/ Arenberg afresh rather than after 150km of riding could be very different, but don't underestimate how hard it is on the legs and arms. That said, the cyclo is in June and generally dry whereas riding from Arenberg to the finish in April could be tough in the wet. In terms of bike-prep, fit the widest tyres you can whilst leaving some clearance - especially important for April - and run them as the lowest, safest pressure - 4-5 bar. No clearance and you'll be grinding to a halt with mud build-up under the brakes. I'll probably ride it again this year - but on a cross bike with 28 or 32mm tyres. Double wrap your handlebar tape, get some good gloves/mitts and cages that aren't bottle-launchers