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Paris roubaix challenge 2022

  • 18-01-2022 11:36am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,727 ✭✭✭

    Hey, so 3 of us are signed up to do the challenge this year. We live in kerry.

    we are looking at the flights/transfers/accommodation etc

    has anyone done it?

    have ye any recommendations for where to stay? How ye got from the airport to roubaix with bike boxes etc-

    Thanks in advance


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,644 ✭✭✭Large bottle small glass

    I haven't done your regular Irish sportive in a good few years, and can't see myself doing them again; but the Paris Roubaix sportive is utterly fantastic.

    Can't really help with logistics but another user here hired a guide through his accommodation which got them to start/finish of sportive but also got them to a few race vantage points including track on the Sunday.

    As for advice

    1. Get comfortable on riding sh1t surfaces, and get tyre wheel combo sorted. Nothing will prepare you for the Arenberg but do something to simulate it

    2. Bury yourself on the cobbles and sit up on the tarmac; faster is better on cobbles

    3. Relax your grip and get a good bend on elbows

    4. Have a good drink on Saturday night and enjoy the local beer, but not so much you haven't the energy for a hectic Sunday chasing the race


  • Registered Users Posts: 162 ✭✭pairofpears

    I read a book by a guy who did it a few years back. He stayed in a hotel in Lille and the organisers of the one he did had laid on busses to transport people to the start. He got a taxi from his hotel to the pickup point and used the same guy when he got to Roubaix to get back to the hotel.

    If you fly to Charleoi and rent a car you can take it across into France and its not a big long drive. Charleoi is probably the cheapest airport to fly to and the most local to Lille.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,380 ✭✭✭lizzylad84

    I don't Paris Roubaix in 2018.

    Absolutely epic. Amazing doesn't cover it

    We flew into Brussels with Ryanair, rented a van, stayed in lille.

    Done the full distance, 175 km at the time. Needed to book bus transfer from velodrome to start line.

    I used challenge Paris Roubaix 28mm tyres, and double wrapped bar tape.

    I'd recommend riding a few sectors before a day or two before hand as carrefour in particular is mental on the day of the event

    Enjoy it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭Mefistofelino

    Back in 2016, we booked our own accommodation (East of Lille centre) & flights and booked a package with a small Dutch firm for the two days who provided bikes & transport. On the Friday evening, he delivered the bikes & set them up. On Saturday morning, he drove us to the start of the 170km (the "official" buses & trucks leave Lille really early) and was available during the day in case of mechanicals etc. On the Sunday, he drove us to the race start (including browbeating several gendarmes to let us through road blocks as "he couldn't understand them as didn't speak French" (which he does very well)), up to the Arenberg and then to the finish.

    Outside of the excellent advice above, I'd add a couple of other bits

    1) Staying East of Lille (around Villenueve d'Asq) worked really well. It is close enough to some of the final sectors that if you are there by Friday morning, you can ride out and do some of them, so Saturday morning isn't as much of a shock to the system. Much of the general Lille area is not particularly attractive so not being in the city itself isn't a huge loss. Its also a handy ride back to the hotel from the velodrome.

    2) If you have hired a van / car consider staying around an extra day or so. On the Monday, we drove over to Kluisbergen (about 45 minutes) and got to ride the final loop of the RVV circuit. Headed back home Monday evening.

    3) Make sure everything on your bike is bolted down solid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭Morris Garren

    I have done this event, and if you are enthused by this sort of cycling, you will love it.

    If you get involved with the official event organisers, it is a very early start with bus transfers. It can be expensive but at least you will be on the 'official' gravy train and mixed in with the throng.

    I agree that Roubaix/Lille isn't a particularly attractive spot but the benefit is that it is so close to West Flanders, and magnificent cycling roads south of Kortrijk and close to Ronse. Therefore, look for local cycling operators in this area, or hire a car from Charleroi and work from there.

    Overall, I think you need to give yourself a few days before/after to truly appreciate the event. You absolutely should do some of the sectors beforhand-- Camphin-en-pevele followed by Carrefour-de-larbre is pretty brutal- but a brilliant intro to the real thing. You might even spot the Pro teams warming up on the Friday. You also will be utterly amazed at the speed of the pros in the real thing. Mind blowing

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,727 ✭✭✭ballyharpat

    thanks for that-thats perfect-How did you book the van? we are having fierce trouble trying to locate one from any online company?

    Also, for anyone that's done it, what particular area would you recommend staying in? Ideally we would like to be close to the bus transfer/ velodrome, I think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,380 ✭✭✭lizzylad84

    Sent you a PM re van rental options.

    When we went over, we stayed I. Lille, as there's more facilities there than Roubaix, aprox 20 ish mins drive to velodrome. Plenty of parking in Roubaix for the van on the morning of the event too

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,115 ✭✭✭Peterx

    Can't add anything to the logistics side as one of our lads drove a van over from Ireland with the bikes and the rest of us flew in but to echo the point about bolting everything down tight, bolt everything down tight. On the first cobbled sector I saw water bottles, Garmin head units, saddle bags, tubes, pumps, sunglasses. One of the lads with me lost both water bottles within 100m. And there's no stopping :)

    If I lived locally to the first cobbled sector I would be walking up and down the side of the road with a 80l IKEA blue bag for an hour and would easily fill it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,644 ✭✭✭Large bottle small glass

    Which length are you doing?

    There was a 170km section which was the last 170km of race, which had lots of sectors and was more in keeping with the race. The downside being you started and finished in two distant places. As much as I like a long day on bike, getting up at 3.30 and loading onto a bus to wait at start line isn't my idea of cycling. If your accommodation could drive you direct to start or similar that 170km might work.

    There was about 10 of us and we did the 145km, which is a loop from Roubaix; there is circa 50km at start of that loop which has fcuk all to do with the race. Your introduction to the cobbles isn't a 2 star sector but the Arenberg; which you won't forget in a hurry.

    In a nutshell if you want to do the more race like version of 170km, pay for private transport to start point or get up at stupid o'clock and wait around for a couple of hours in the dark waiting to start.

    Roubaix felt a bit rough around the edges; we stayed near Lille and it was grand for food and pints

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,727 ✭✭✭ballyharpat

    We are doing the full race, we have the bus transfer, we are experienced cyclists and have all raced at a high national and/or international level. No stranger to early mornings for a race. Appreciate your experience, but if I wasnt doing the full race loop, I would just travel at another time and do whatever I wanted.

    Ive done 3 etapes and dealt with the same thing, the paris roubaix is a great event by all accounts, so looking forward to it :)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 832 ✭✭✭gn3dr

    Is J Crowley in your group doing this?

  • Registered Users Posts: 832 ✭✭✭gn3dr

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,727 ✭✭✭ballyharpat

  • Registered Users Posts: 832 ✭✭✭gn3dr