Bordeaux-Paris 2014

February 19, 2013

Bordeaux-Paris 2014

First held in 1891, Bordeaux-Paris was one of the longest professional bike races, covering around 560 km (350 miles) – more than twice most one-day races. The last professional edition was held in 1988 but in May 2014, the event is being resurrected as a 600 km (370 mile) sportive.

There is next to no detail on the event’s site (yet) but I’ve been able to dig up a little info from various sources online:

  • Starts on Friday, May 30 next year, from downtown Bordeaux
  • First 15-20 km will be neutralised
  • Groups will then form as riders of similar speeds stick together
  • Around 100 motorcycles will protect the groups
  • The will be five controls (every 100-ish kms)
  • Elevation gain will be 4,000-4,500 m
  • Finish will be south of Paris
  • Entries will open May 2013
  • Cost is expected to be €100-200
  • Will need a medical certificate

Three categories

  • Less than 26 hours
  • Less than 36 hours
  • Less than 60 hours


  • 1,500 cyclists (50% foreign)
  • Live GPS tracking
  • Fixed and mobile security
  • Transport to Bordeaux
  • Accommodation packages
  • Mechanical assistance
  • Five controls

This will probably be my first 600 so I figure it will be safer to enter the 36-hour category and plan for a short pre-dawn nap. The training for a 600 is supposed to be fairly similar to that for a 200, at least according to Burke and Pavelka’s Complete Book of Long Distance Cycling, so should be perfectly manageable. I guess this event will also be a major stepping stone towards my first Paris-Brest-Paris in 2015…


Here’s the route card I’ve prepared for this year’s sportive. I figure I’ll laminate it and keep it in my pocket for easy reference during the ride. I’ve included the four feed stops and made a note for which one will have the bag waiting for me that I will have dropped off at the start. I’ll probably be ready to shed my knee and arm warmers by then (if the weather is good) and pick up a second batch of bars, gels and drink mix.

You’ll also notice that I’ve included the eight longer sections of pavé that are on the route:

  • Heuisepontweg (1,800m)
  • Doorn (2,000m)
  • Paddestraat (2,200m)
  • Lippenhovestraat (1,300m)
  • Mariaborrestraat (2,000m)
  • Holleweg (1,500m)
  • Kerkgate (1,500m)
  • Haaghoek (2,000)

I figure it will be handy to have a little warning for these too, not just the 17 climbs.

Tour of Flanders Climbs

February 14, 2011


The eighteen climbs of the 2011 Tour of Flanders sportive are:

  1. 70km Tiegemberg, 750m long, average gradient 5.6%, maximum gradient 9%
  2. 80km Nokereberg, 350m, ave 5.7%, max 7%, cobbles
  3. 127km Rekelberg, 800m, ave 4%, max 9%
  4. 140km Kaperij, 1,000m, ave 5.5%, max 9%
  5. 154km Kruisberg, 1,000m, ave 6.5%, max 9%, 500m cobbles
  6. 164km Knokteberg, 1,100m, ave 8%, max 13%
  7. 171km Oude Kwaremont, 2,200m, ave 4%, max 11.6%, 1,500m cobbles
  8. 174km Paterberg, 360m, ave 12.9%, max 20.3%, cobbles
  9. 181km  Koppenberg, 660m, ave 11.6%, max 22%, cobbles
  10. 186km Steenbeekdries, 700m, ave 5.3%, max 6.7%, cobbles
  11. 189km Taaienberg, 530m, ave 6.6%, max 15.8%, 520m cobbles
  12. 194km Eikenberg, 1,300m, ave 6.2%, max 10%, 1,200m cobbles
  13. 209km Molenberg, 463m, ave 7%, max 14.2%, 300m cobbles
  14. 216km Leberg, 950m, ave 4.2%, max 13.8%
  15. 224km Valkenberg, 540m, ave 8.1%, max 12.8%
  16. 231km Tenbosse, 450m, ave 6.9%, max 8.7%
  17. 243km Muur-Kapelmuur, 475m, ave 9.3, max 19.8%, cobbles
  18. 246km Bosberg, 980m, ave 5.8%, max 11%, 400m cobbles

L’Eroica 2010

September 21, 2010

The retro cycling event of the season is on next weekend in Tuscany. Over three thousand cycle tourists riding up to 205km across the strada bianche (white roads) on vintage bikes. The pros race over some of the same gravel roads in March in the Montepaschi Strade Bianche and some of the pictures from this year’s edition were stunning. Something for next year’s calendar?