Riding the 2006 edition was one of our cycling lifetime highlights and we return on June 8 for another taste of the pave of Northern France.

The pave leading to the Cafe l'Arbe

Back in June 2006 we summed up our ride in the following way - "Nothing, and I mean nothing can prepare you for the cobbles of Paris Roubaix. The initial road sections beguile you into a false sense of calm, but when you hit your first pave your world is turned upside down, and inside out."

This cyclosportive is run by local cycling clubs and authorities, and the road bike version (There is a MTB edition) is held every two years.

There are three distances available to riders:

- L’intégrale: Cambronne les Ribécourt to Roubaix. 260kms. Covering the entire route of the race including 45kms of pavé. Depart between 0400 and 0700.

- L’essentielle: Bohain to Roubaix. 190kms. Missing the first 45miles or so but still covering all 45kms of pavé. Depart between 0600 and 0900.

- Le Final: Raismes to Roubaix covering 28kms of pavé. Depart between 0700 and 1000.

The 260k route covers the full pro-race route, whilst the 190k sees you start some 30km before the first section of cobbles and takes in all sections as seen in the race. Finally the 'short' 90k's starts five kilometres before the infamous Arenberg Forest!

Package

Once more a weekend package has been put together by Scott Bugden for the Saturday and Sunday, but exact details depend on how many riders want to come on the trip. Assuming that enough people sign up, the plan is as follows:

- Travelling in an executive coach. Bikes to travel in a trailer (and support van if there are enough riders.

- Leave the South East of England on Saturday 7th June, probably making an early start, leaving London area at around 09:30 and aiming for a morning ferry crossing. Pick up’s at Hampton Court Rail Station or near Eurotunnel in Folkestone.

- Stay overnight in Compiegne Formule 1 hotel (or similar). Have evening meal in a restaurant in Compiegne.

- On Sunday morning, the coach will take riders to their respective starts before driving to the finish at Roubaix.

- Riders will make their own way from their start to Roubaix. There may be a support van if enough riders book.

- At Roubaix, you can have a shower in the famous velodrome showers, a meal in the canteen and collect your souvenir pavé and photo. If you order in advance, you can also get a Paris Roubaix Cyclo jersey (see picture below) for a price of 45 euros.

- We leave Roubaix Sunday afternoon, as soon as everybody is ready and return to Dover and the South East, arriving home late Sunday night.

Money

Cost including Travel, Accomodation, Breakfast on Sunday morning, entry fee and souvenir lump of pave is £225. Scott is currently taking deposits of £100 to allow him to book the coach and hotel.

Contact

To book a place on the trip or for more information, please contact: Scott Bugden.- e-mail: cyclingscott@hotmail.com