Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

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MattRhino
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Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

Postby MattRhino » Sun Nov 04, 2012 18:26 pm

Want to go next year. Have seen that Sports Tours International are running a trip. They don't seem to be the most popular outfit when it comes to the Etape if some of the threads on here are anything to go by.

Anyone go on their trip last year? They're doing ferry, hotel, start, pavé sections and then the finish. £175.

If I go under my own steam (car/ferry) will I struggle to see enough? How easy it would it be to get to those places yourself?

Any advice, experiences etc would be most welcome.

Cheers

Matt

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Monty Dog
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Re: Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

Postby Monty Dog » Sun Nov 04, 2012 19:02 pm

If you're planning on doing multiple view-points, it's a distinct advantage to go with someone who knows the geography and ideally has a motorbike! Lots of people go to Arenberg and then head for the stadium for the finish and watch live coverage the big screen.
Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..

Richmond Racer
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Re: Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

Postby Richmond Racer » Sun Nov 04, 2012 19:39 pm

Monty Dog, I did Paris-Roubaix this year with Sports Tours. It was actually pretty well organised: you stay on the Sat night in a hotel on the outskirts of Valenciennes - and Liquigas were staying in the hotel too, which made for fun rider spotting and geeky photos and stuff of the bikes being set up by the mechanics the next morning. You then get taken to the start where the team buses are for about an hour, and then the coach takes you to 2 different sections of pave - 1 was at Troisville, the other just after Arenberg. You get dropped off in plenty of time before the guys come through - loads of time to walk along to choose your viewing sport. Lastly you go to Roubaix, and you walk down to the velodrome from the coach/car park - plenty of places for beers and watching the race before in this year's case, Boonen came cruising down that last stretch to the velodrome - or just head to the velodrome.

I thought it was decent value for the money. Not a bad idea to do it this way for your first trip, and then you have a good idea of the lay of the land if you want to go solo next year.

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ThomThom
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Re: Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

Postby ThomThom » Sun Nov 04, 2012 20:38 pm

As I always say:

1. Find a pub or find a big screen event in the area of the course.
2. Watch the riders when they pass.
3. Back to the beers.

Sorted.

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greasedscotsman
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Re: Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

Postby greasedscotsman » Mon Nov 05, 2012 00:19 am

First 4 times I went to Paris Rouabix was with Sports Tours International (or Graham Baxter Sporting Tours which they were at the time) until I realised it was something I could do myself. Of all the spring classics, I think it is the easiest and most rewarding to see from the roadside. It depends on how adventurous you want to be. If you want to see it as Thomthom suggests, then your only problem is going to be finding a suitable bar or big screen. But then if you want to see the race as many times as the Belgians do, which can be as many as 10, then as Monty suggests, you really need some local knowledge. Not really sure the motorbike is necessary though. :D

To see it 2, 3 or 4 times is easy enough. I would suggest going over on the Friday, ride some pave in the Saturday morning and recce your route in the afternoon. You really need to know where your going and not be looking at maps.

But, I've done the Tour, the Giro, Liege, Flanders and Roubaix with them and it's probably the best one they do (Giro in 2004 was pretty good though). Again, I would suggest doing their full weekend trip and riding some cobbles. Not sure if it's still the same, but they used to pick up the route at Arenberg and ride to the velodrome at the finish. All supported, which is something that's very difficult to sort out yourself as it means someone doesn't get to ride.

Also, Richmond Racer says that last year they saw the race 4 times, including the start and the finish. When I went with then, we saw the race 6 times. Cutting one of the race sightings is certainly down to the motorway junction at Hasnon being closed due to the use of the sector at Millonfosse. This wil probably change with the re introduction of the sector at Wallers. I'm guessing they will go to the start, Troisville, Arenberg, Sars-et-Rosières and then the finish. 5 times ain't bad! In fact, it's pretty impressive for a coach! They used to run 3 of them, not sure if they still do?

Maybe as Richmond Racer suggests, go with them this time and then under your own steam the next!

Richmond Racer
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Re: Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

Postby Richmond Racer » Mon Nov 05, 2012 09:11 am

greasedscotsman wrote:First 4 times I went to Paris Rouabix was with Sports Tours International (or Graham Baxter Sporting Tours which they were at the time) until I realised it was something I could do myself. Of all the spring classics, I think it is the easiest and most rewarding to see from the roadside. It depends on how adventurous you want to be. If you want to see it as Thomthom suggests, then your only problem is going to be finding a suitable bar or big screen. But then if you want to see the race as many times as the Belgians do, which can be as many as 10, then as Monty suggests, you really need some local knowledge. Not really sure the motorbike is necessary though. :D

To see it 2, 3 or 4 times is easy enough. I would suggest going over on the Friday, ride some pave in the Saturday morning and recce your route in the afternoon. You really need to know where your going and not be looking at maps.

But, I've done the Tour, the Giro, Liege, Flanders and Roubaix with them and it's probably the best one they do (Giro in 2004 was pretty good though). Again, I would suggest doing their full weekend trip and riding some cobbles. Not sure if it's still the same, but they used to pick up the route at Arenberg and ride to the velodrome at the finish. All supported, which is something that's very difficult to sort out yourself as it means someone doesn't get to ride.

Also, Richmond Racer says that last year they saw the race 4 times, including the start and the finish. When I went with then, we saw the race 6 times. Cutting one of the race sightings is certainly down to the motorway junction at Hasnon being closed due to the use of the sector at Millonfosse. This wil probably change with the re introduction of the sector at Wallers. I'm guessing they will go to the start, Troisville, Arenberg, Sars-et-Rosières and then the finish. 5 times ain't bad! In fact, it's pretty impressive for a coach! They used to run 3 of them, not sure if they still do?

Maybe as Richmond Racer suggests, go with them this time and then under your own steam the next!



Greased, yeah, I think that's why they've had to cut down on the number of sightings - but I didnt feel short-changed with 4, have to say. As well as Troisville, it was Sars-et-Rosiere where we also stopped. Seems that in 2011 they had a real problem with getting the coach near enough to Arenberg because of road closures, so they didnt try this year.

They're only running one coach now - they dont have enough demand for 3 any more.

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greasedscotsman
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Re: Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

Postby greasedscotsman » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:33 am

No worries. I was just trying to say that next year the route might change and they will be able to go to Arenberg. Might sway it for the OP.

oneof1982
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Re: Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

Postby oneof1982 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:58 am

Did this last year on a very curtailed basis (No bike no beer). Stayed Saturday night in Ibis hotel Vallencienne, only about 10 miles from Arenberg. Hotel is also next to football stadium so managed to get to the game on the Saturday night. We were at Arenberg in plenty of time to walk up and down cobbled section. Pointed car in right direction, so after the race passed we headed for the Veldrome. You pass over the race a number of times as it zig zags below the motorway.

Team cars are in convoy at this part and so the motorway chase is quite exciting. Cars stream up coned off motorway junctions, peeling off for a view of the race. We didn't add any additional stops as it was our first time, but I reckon you can easily stop once or twice more. We got to the velodrome and parked on street close by. Don't leave valuables in your car - as a car nearby had been "done".

Great geek access afterwards as the buses are all on street, so plenty of bike washing going on. We were on the chunnel by 9.00pm that evening.

Downside of this approach is as above, no beer no bikes, but it came up as a last minute idea/opportunity.

Richmond Racer
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Re: Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

Postby Richmond Racer » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:13 am

greasedscotsman wrote:No worries. I was just trying to say that next year the route might change and they will be able to go to Arenberg. Might sway it for the OP.


Indeed :)

MattRhino
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Re: Watching Paris-Roubaix 2013

Postby MattRhino » Mon Nov 05, 2012 21:11 pm

Really helpful responses folks. Greatly appreciated. Reckon I'll go with them for my first visit. Someone else driving allows for a couple of sherbets as well......


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