The event is a classic in anyone’s book and although there is not a mountain in sight the route criss-crosses the old mining areas of northern France traveling over cobbled sections (Pave) of road, that make this the crown prince of professional road races. The cobbles of the Arenberg Forest must be the most infamous section of route on any race, to have won the race is to make a statement about your status in the pro hierarchy.
The ‘Hell of the North’ is truly epic. It’s called that because the early races passed through areas ravaged by World War 1. Many of signs of two World wars are to be found in the area.
The cyclo-sportif is not a race, but will follow the race route, although it should be less muddy than the April race date. Held biannually the 2006 cyclo-sportif will be held on June 11.
• Date 11th June
• Three distances, starting from Cambronne (260km with 45km of Pave), Bohain (190km with 45km of Pave) or Raismes (120km with 28km of Pave).
• Entry fee is 30 Euros (including a souvenir Pave)
• The website is here
• The exact route is yet to be finalised because some of the sections of Pave are being worked on. The Arenberg should be included because it is meant to be ready for the race to go through in 2006, it was out of the race in 2005 because the mining tunnel below it was collapsing!
Although some details are to be finalised we intend to hire a coach and trailer and we will tarvel out on the Saturday, stay over and the coach will drop riders off at the different starting points. Collecting us all at the finish when we will travel back to the South East. The cost will be in the region of £225 per person including entry fees, accommodation and travel.
Contact: If you would like more information contact Scott Bugden
For more check out LondonCycleSport