And if so, where did you stay? And where did you watch the pros the next day?
Anyone done the Tour of Flanders sportive?
Yep, did it for the first time this year. There's a monster thread on it if you search...
We stayed at the Ibis hotel in Brugge. Kind of like a slightly nicer Formula 1, but it did the job, they didn't mind us taking our bikes into the rooms, and the 5:00 am special cyclists' breakfast the next day supplied the requisite cheese and ham to get us to the first feed station.
We watched the pros the next day too. We saw them go through the first cobbled section, then hot-footed it over to a free viewing area with big screens next to the Oude Kwaremont. Top afternoon.
When was the monster thread? I've had a hunt but can't find it.
Cheers for the info though. I suspect we're looking to stay nearer Oudenaarde and just do the 140 km version, skipping the bit from Bruges, but still doing all the famous climbs.
Have done it a few times now and stayed in Oudenaarde, it's a great event and so well organized. We figured Oudenaarde would be loads busier with it now being the finish but we still got hotels easy enough in town, atmosphere was great too.
I would suggest that you book your accomodation now. We always used the Campanile on the outskirts of Gent. Some of the pro team (male and female) stay there as well as the Ibis next door. I think that some of the men in our group were particularly pleased to see Emma Johansson and Gunn Rita-Dahl!!!
Quite a few people reckon the 140k version is lots more fun, we thought we needed to try it though! It's a very long day in the saddle but a cracking event all the same.
We've booked up with sporting tours for next year after doing Paris - Roubaix this year and having a great time.
Cheers for all the advice. Pretty much confirms our plans of just doing the 140 km one. Idea is to travel on the Thursday then do lots of the famous climbs on the Fridays before the 20,000 or so cyclists descend.
Ideally want to stay in Oudenaarde so have e-mailed a few hotels. Looks like Ghent does have more options though.
Ghent's a nice town to spend a day or so looking round as well. Don't expect to find the race screened anywhere however....
If you stay there it's an early start to drive to the start but parking is really well organised.
If your going to do all the climbs on the friday then why do the ride Saturday ? Maybe do Koppenberg/Patteberg and Kwaremont on friday while there fairly quiet and you have a fair chance of seeing the pro's training too......
You will come back and question how UK sportive organisers charge so much for there events tho as the RVV is well organised and cheap !
If your going to do all the climbs on the friday then why do the ride Saturday ?
To be honest, when I said all the climbs, I just meant a selection, including probably the Muur van Geraardsbergen even though it's no longer in the race. Reason for doing them on the Friday is that I've heard they get blocked with riders on the Saturday and many folk have to walk. I still want to do the sportive on the Saturday because I love that sportive buzz, especially abroad where the crowds come up in big numbers to cheer on the riders. Let's me live out my "I'm a famous pro rider" fantasy.
I know what you mean about the cost though. I've done a few foreign sportives, and they are so much cheaper generally. Much better food too.
I've heard they get blocked with riders on the Saturday
One reason why I always do the long route. By the time I get to them the climbs are pretty clear. Not had to walk up one yet in 11 years of riding this fantastic event.
The only time I may have regretted doing the long one was when they sent us out to Ostend. Not bad in itself but having to use the rubbish cycle paths there spoilt it.
Agree on the cost. Some UK sportives really take the Mick. So I only do RVV and P-R.
Done it 3 times, all the full distance and stayed in the Ibis in Brugge. Thinking of doing the 140km next year since I'm probably not going to be riding enough to ride the full distance. Great event.
By the time I get to them the climbs are pretty clear
But by the time I get to them I'll be getting overtaken by Boonen, Cancellara and the like doing the Sunday race!
how did everyone organise their entry? don't want to pay a fortune to a tour company as have own transport and a friend to stay with...
Have you not read about entry on the RVV website? All you need to know there?
Edit: except they are slack on updating it this year and registration is not yet open
Register and pay online then take the form to the registration area the day before the ride (you can even do it on the morning of the ride.
"All other participants, from outside Belgium, can pick up their number on the spot at the preregistration booth. One week before the event they will get their number by email. With this number they can pick up their tag at the preregistration booth.. "
It was no problem registering on the day this year - we did the 140k and were neither particularly early or late starting but walked straight to the desk. I'd debate whether it makes sense to pre-enter as if the weather was *really* bad (and they've had snow some years - it's early season) you still have the option of beer+moule+frites>ride
Maybe a different story if you're doing the 200 but the rider in our group didn't have any trouble there either. The organisation of this ride is something else.
Anything less than the full 250kms is not being serious!
I rode it for the first time this year - the full distance - and LOVED every single minute of it. I'm doing it again in 2013, have already booked Eurotunnel and Hotels, and have been looking forward to next year's event almost literally since I crossed the finish line this year (maybe I'm sick in the head!)
Next year's RVV is over Easter. We booked our hotels 1 month ago and found them already very full, so better get cracking if you want to book somewhere.
This year we spent Fri & Sat nights in central Bruges.. next year we are doing Fri night in Bruges, then moving to near Kwaremont for Sat night, so that on Sunday we can see the Pro's come through on the climbs toward the end of the race.
The good thing about the middle (still 90+miles) distance is no boring slog into the wind along the coast beforemtheninteresting bits and no getting up early to get transport to the start then finishing miles away for your hotel/car.
The good thing about the middle (still 90+miles) distance is no boring slog into the wind along the coast beforemtheninteresting bits
Depends on your outlook I s'pose... I certainly didn't find it a 'boring slog', neither did the few thousand others who rode it.
Zipping along for the first couple of hours in pelotons that are forming and disbanding was great. So often we don't get the opportunity to do that in the UK, but in Belgium riders know how to ride in pelotons more comfortably.
The RVV can be divided into 2 segments strategy-wise: the first 100 miles is pretty flat and you can zip along with a bunch, hopping into and out of pelotons going at whatever speed you like.
The last 60 miles is where all the hills are - deliciously painful in a sheer human endeavour kinda way!
Here's me after 244kms and 10hrs 15 mins in the saddle...
and no getting up early to get transport to the start then finishing miles away for your hotel/car.
That's what WAGs are for - chauffeurs to ferry you from one place to the next!
Actually, my wife and 2 of our 3 kids came this year and are doing teh same next... they get a great weekend away, Bruges is a fascinating city, they go off to sightsee in somewhere like Ghent all day, collect me from Oudenaarde Sat evening after the Sportive, have splash-out dinners out in fancy restaurants Fri/Sat nights, and get involved in all the buzz and excitement of the Pro RVV on Sunday. Mind you, my wife & kids enjoy watching big races like the Tour de France, RVV in person.
can anyone see how you enter on the rvv website? cant seem to find it...
I've stayed in Gent and Brussels for the short edition, and Brugge (Bruges) for the full edition.
Usually join the trongs to watch atop the Kapelmuur/Muur de Geraardsbergen. Obv didn't go this year, as it wasn't in (heathens!).
It is, without doubt, the best weekend on a bike there is. If I wasn't so unfit after a year off the bike, I'd be back there next year. Love it!
Entries now open!
16000 rider limit. There's been over 20000 in the past so don't leave it too long!
Just signed up for 140km I'll be coming along with a few friends and clubmates, see you all at the finish!
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