Following a hugely successful 2007 event which saw over 170 riders complete the gruelling 600km parcours in 3 days, the London-Paris Cycle Tour is set to offer new challenges to entrants in 2008.
Inspired by the presence of legendary ‘hard man of the cobbles’ Sean Kelly throughout the 2007 event and buoyed by the visit of multi-classics champion Johan Museeuw, the London-Paris Cycle Tour 2008 will, for the first time in its history, swing north to visit the famous ‘pave’ of the Paris-Roubaix race, before plunging down to end in Paris at the Arc de Triomphe.
Day 1 takes a new 200km route away from the Hampton Court through Kent, ‘the Garden of England’, arriving at Dover for the end of day ferry crossing to Calais. There will be no bed of roses in this garden however as riders tackle the short sharp ascents of Capel le Surn and Goudhurst Hill, the latter being familiar to race fans as a King of the Mountains climb in this year’s Tour de France.
Day 2 provides a massive 230km route that will test the mettle of every rider as the event as it swings north east toward the famous cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, cycling’s ‘Hell of the North’. Wheel and tyre choice will be crucial on sections like Mont Casel, a 2.5km cobbled uphill and the challenging, rolling roads of the Collines l’Artois before arrival at Amiens.
Day 3 leaves Amiens and winds south to Paris covering 170km in the true spirit of the Tour de France, rolling into the capital and arriving at the Arc de Triomphe, a fitting spot at which to end the challenge of the 2008 London-Paris Cycle Tour.
‚We thought we’d throw a few new elements into the mix this year,‛ commented event planner Matt Taylor, ‚day 2 is without doubt not only the highlight of the 2008 Tour but the hardest single day we’ve ever planned. It’ll be fascinating to see what happens!‛
The London-Paris Cycle Tour 2008 is open to individuals and teams and will take place from the 26-29th June 2008.
Entries will open in mid November 2007 and full details can be found on the event website:www.londres-paris.com