Ardennes

18-25 April 2020 ( Riding days) : This event is now SOLD OUT

“hARDENNES” : A series of Big Rides that will give you a new idea of what (southern) Belgium is really about. In 2020 four different “packages” are on offer :-

“A” : the full 8-stage programme includes three race-day ride ‘n watch days and routes that have been tried & tested over the last ten years. ( 8 stages) 18-25 April ( incl. arrival night of Friday 17th)

“B” : Stages 1-3, focusing on the Amstel Gold race, but including a superb Ardennes stage around the town of Malmedy and Spa-Francorchamps. ( 3 stages) 18-20 April ( incl. arrival night of Friday 17th)

“C” : Stages 4-6, focusing on the Fléche Wallonne race, and including a beautiful stage around La Roche en Ardenne ( 3 stages). We watch the race on the Mur d’Huy - one of the best race-places to watch, hear and smell the pro’s in full flight! 21-23 April ( incl arrival night on Monday 20th)

“D” : Stages 6-8, focusing first on the climbs around La Roche-en-Ardenne, then going into Luxembourg for some of the best riding you could find anywhere. Includes an overnight stay in the medieval town of Vianden, before riding back to tackle ALL of the L-B-L finale climbs alongside those riding the LBL cyclosportive. On Sunday 26th April, those who can stay have options of catching the pro race both in it’s early and latter kms. 23-25 April (incl arrival night on Wednesday 22nd)

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“The perfect early-season training block, tailored to test the ‘Spring’ in your legs! This area is my back-yard. I never tire of riding these stunning, quiet roads.”

Belgian climbs are like their beers - high in % and after just a couple you could easily fall over! And I thought Belgium was supposed to be flat!
Jo Allen, hArdennes rider

The Stages

Stage One

Spa, and the Hautes Fagnes-Eiffel region

170kms / 3200m

The opening stage features the highest and most remote plateau in the Ardennes. Part of the route will take us into Germany, with a notable stop in the medieval village of Monschau. Nothing too steep, just buckets of beauty.

Stage Two

Vesdre Valley and the Bergs of the Amstel Gold Race

175km / 3,300m

After a sharp "warm up" tackling some of the walls along the Vesdre valley, ( renowned in Belgium as the valley containing the most & the steepest climbs !), we head directly to the AGR race area. We will watch the race on at least three of the main climbs, chasing from one spot to another to catch the action as the race pace cranks up.

Stage Three

"Malmedy Madness" re-visited, plus the Francorchamps F1 course....

150kms / 3000m

Malmedy is one of the key towns that define the unique character of the Belgian Ardennes. Surrounded by steep wooded hills which we explore 'thoroughly' ! Our route over to Malmedy takes us through Stavelot where we will have our first taste of the 'L-B-L finale' by riding up the Stockeu. On our way back we will go round the parameter of the F1 Francorchamps circuit.

Stage Four

La Fleche Wallonne finale and a lot more...

210kms / 3400m

Our longest stage so far where we will ride all of the main climbs of the Flèche Wallonne race course as well as some of my own favourites. Impressive 'fermes-chateaux' abound along the way on this stage across the Condroz region. Of course the Mur d'Huy will be one of the "highs"!

Group of cyclists riding on a road through firelds into a sunrise

Stage Five

The Mur d'Huy for all the race action

125kms / 1900m

Our "recovery day" mid-week, where we meander over to Huy and back to catch the ladies climbing the Mur twice and the men climbing it three times. One of the best possible race-watch days you can find anywhere !

Stage Six

Dense Forests, rolling roads but of course some nice gradients too.

170kms / 3200m

A particularly beautiful route through deep forest with many of my own training climbs around La Roche en Ardenne and a lunch stop in a charming auberge in the middle of one of the largest hunting forests in the Ardennes.

Stage Seven

La Roche en Ardenne, Houffalize, Bastogne, Luxembourg. THE BEST.

251kms / 4900m

Part One of a "CCC version of LBL" : after riding the hardest of the climbs around La Roche en Ardenne, we head over to Houffalize to climb the famous Cote de Roche ( the first real challenge on the LBL race course) before heading, via Bastogne, into Luxembourg. The quality of the roads here and the Alpine nature of the climbs never fail to surprise. A super-tough day on the bike with an exceptional overnight stay in the town of Vianden.

Stage Eight

Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium : all of the LBL "killer climbs" and so many more.

250kms / 5300m

Part Two begins with more classic Luxembourg climbs before we ride ALL of the finale climbs of L-B-L AND more. A truly epic ride to conclude a week of tough rides that will leave you in no doubt about why this part of Belgium is so admired as THE best area to ride in the Benelux. For those who ride the whole eight stages, it will also leave you very fit and very tired !!