Battle the Roubaix cobbles with Geraint Thomas

Exclusive sportive from Dunkirk to Roubaix launched

Fancy conquering the Paris-Roubaix cobbles with Team Sky's Geraint Thomas, who is currently riding high in Paris-Nice?

Well, an exclusive sportive has been set up to do just that, as Thomas and ex-pros Magnus Backstedt – who won Paris-Roubaix in 2004 - and Stephen Roche will be riding a 165km route from Dunkirk to the famous velodrome.

The event takes place on 27 April, and will include nine cobbled sections of the 2013 Paris-Roubaix route, including the infamous Carrefour de l'Arbre.

Thomas said: "With pro-style support and rolling road closures, it’s a great way to share an authentic, tough classic with riders and fans of the sport." 

The route will also travel past World War One cemeteries in Flanders where hundreds of thousands of soldiers are buried and will be commemorated this year.

Thomas added: "With this year being the 100th anniversary of WW1, it will be very poignant riding through the Fields of Flaanders where thousands of men of my age lost their lives.

"Its something we should never forget and it will be very symbolic to pass nearby the new Welsh Memorial that has been erected near Loker in memory of those who died.”

The sportive has been organised by HotChillee, which also runs London to Paris and the Cape Rouleur. Entries for Dunkirk-Roubaix will open at noon on Tuesday, 18 March. Places have been limited to 100 and entry costs £500. This includes a dinner with the star riders the night before, vehicle support and bike and bus transport back to Dunkirk.

Visit www.dunkerque-roubaix.com for more information and to enter.

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