I am currently fortunate enough to be living in Germany as an American, and i HAVE to take advantage of some of these classics in the area.
My question is, i would love to do the 172km route for the P/R sportive, but i hear it’s a logistical nightmare. The 140km option still hits most of the same cobble sectors as the long route, but it starts and ends in Roubaix.
Does anybody have any experience? i would love to do the full route, but if it’s not worth it, i will bump down for convenience’s sake.
Hi, I haven´t taken part myself yet, but I was in Roubaix last year with a friend who did the race a few times. The story was, that when he did the long route the first time, they had to get up around 4 and were brought south to the start. Weather was around freezing point. If you´re unlucky, you have to wait in the cold for the next bus tor start and. At least my friend didn´t do the long route again.
Arenberg and the Carrefour de l’Arbre are in the short route too.
Atmosphere is amazing. Make sure you stay for the race on Sunday. On the entrance of Arenberg they had a big screen last time. So did the Carrefour. Arenberg had a couple of food stands which they didn´t at the Carrefour though.
I love Paris Roubaix…
I enter via Sports tours ( ithink theyre uk based) and this includes pickup from the train station, hotel acommodation, coach to the start and pickup again from roubaix velodrome. Also they took us to the start of the pro race the following day and caught them again on some of the cobbled sections.
Its the one you swear youll never do again but know you’ll be back next year!
I’ve signed up to do it next year - never done it before. Logistics seem pretty straightforward - stay in Roubaix and get the official shuttle to the start in the morning. Hope to see you on the start line!
I did it with a tour group in 2017 (which included watching the Pros on Sunday). It was the most brutal and one of the most awesome days on the bike ever. As someone who loves the Paris Roubaix race and was sufficiently fit, I am so glad I did the long version. Brings me a silly smile just thinking about it now.
I did it this year (long route). In terms of logistics it’s not too bad once you delve into he options. I stopped in a hotel in Lille, much nicer than Roubaix, especially for eating out, Roubaix is a bit of a dump! We got the train from Lille to Roubaix after cycling to the train station early morning, about 5 mins cycle from where we stopped and 2 minutes subsequent cycle to the start line.
Great day’s riding but it’s absolutely brutal, your bike and body will take a battering. Fitness is less important than mental resilience, the course is pretty flat.
Best advice I could give is to make sure you have plenty of inner tubes and to fit as bigger tyres as your bike can cope with. I tried to be clever and went tubeless but got in big trouble after a double puncture which blew the sealent out of the rim/tyre. I then had to ride with an almost flat tyre (15psi!) to the next rest stop, which had no inner tubes left as everyone had bought them all…nightmare, especially on those 4 and 5* cobble sections!
Paris Roubaix is obviously pretty awesome! But there are also countless other Legendary Races in the Region, that might be more accessible. I will do the Amstel-Gold Race and also Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2020. There are also countless other Belgium classics, that are a staple in the spring calender. (They are also really cheap to enter)
Just some inspiration
I’ve done the Randonee in June several times, it runs every other year (it’s on this year) and 2 of the times I’ve ridden it in the rain - wet Pave is every bit as bad as you’d expect. The route is a bit longer and includes all of the Pave sectors - it’s a brutal but rewarding day out and you can buy a mini cobble on a plinth for a keepsake.
I did the long 172km route in 2016. It was an early morning to get to the start in a private bus which I think was at 7am. It was much colder than expected and lots of people complained they were cold but I was ok.
It is a brutal ride even if you do the 140km and I had blisters all over my hands and fell off once. At least half the people in our group fell off at least once and there was no rain. Unless you are experienced on Northern France cobbles then 140km will be more than enough. If you havent ridden those cobbles before it is way tougher than you can imagine. I rode cobbles in the UK which were smooth in comparison. I used 25mm tyres due to my frame and would recommend the widest tyre you can find with 28mm a minimum. I had a pinch flat on the Arenberg and another flat on the last sectors.
I really enjoyed it and have a real appreciation for the pro race. If I had to choose again I would probably do the 140km. I am not sure I would do it again though.
I’ll do the 172km for the 5th time this year. The start from Roubaix is a bit of a hassle, you’ll have to wake up early, busride is 1.5hr (try to sleep a bit) and you need to take some warm clothes. I’m sure the 140km has enough cobbles, but the 172km gives you some warm up cobbles before entering the forrest (which is terrible). Also, if you ride it you want the full experience don’t you?
What we’ve did the last years is rent a house between Bussigny and Roubaix. We drive to the start ourselves and make sure to have a car at the velodrome waiting so we can pick up the car we left at the start.
I think that’s my biggest issue. I’d hate to start the ride dressed warm, and it end up warming up during the day, and i look like a camel with my jacket and leg warmers under my jersey.
What tires would y’all suggest?
i ride a 2020 Trek Madone SLR (ultegra di2/disc brakes)
i’m thinking about using these in a tubeless set up. What are your thoughts/suggestions? i also heard in this weeks get faster podcast that it’s a bad idea to put too much cushion on the bars, due to arm pump. i think i might just double wrap the bars, and wear good gloves and leave it at that. i’m not a TOTAL stranger to rough cobbles, i’ve lived in Germany for the past 3 years, and have ridden my fair share, although, not 50k worth in one day!
We usually ask someone to meet us with the car a fee places… great for carrying some spares, tools and get rid of some clothes during the ride. Temperature can vary during the day, there was a temperature difference from 0C and fog in the morning to 19C And sun in the afternoon two years ago. But even without a car a Gabba or other layers are really useful during this race.
The cobbles will make everything feel painfull and numb at some point. For some this point is earlier than for others. I would recommend to try everything to delay this as long as possible… so:
- biggest tyres possible (>28mm)
- tubeless works great! Also to prevent flats (these can cost you a lot of time)
- i go as low as 2.5-3 bar of air in my tyres.
- double steeringlint works great, there’s special roubaix steeringlint with more cushioning for sale a s well.
I used these, tubeless. No issues all day. I am heavy so went for the 35. they do a 30 I think.
“Schwalbe G-One Speed TL-Easy “