Events 2024: The five cycling monuments for amateurs and hobby cyclists
Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Milan-Sanremo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and Tour of Lombardy. The five monuments of cycling can also be followed by amateur athletes in special cyclosportives and events. Alpecin Cycling has compiled them for the 2024 season:
Date: June 5, 2024 – tentative
Start-Finish: Milan Sanremo/Italy
Route: approx. 300 km
The “Primavera” amateur event is more than 50 years old. So, the 53rd edition will take place in 2024. Hobby athletes also need a long breath for the approximately 300-kilometer ride from the capital of Lombardy across the Piedmont plain down to the Ligurian coast.
The many consecutive climbs on the final 50 kilometers, including well-known names like Capo Berta, Poggio, and of course the Cipressa shortly before the end of the race, rob the last remaining grains. What sounds so picturesque, however, begins bleakly.
While the professionals start in front of Milan Cathedral, the hobby athletes set off on the long journey in a suburb outside Milan – Pieve Emanuele. However, the date of the event at the beginning of June is chosen so that snow and cold can be completely ruled out.
Tour of Flanders
Date: March 30, 2024
Start-Finish: Oudenaarde- Oudenaarde/Belgium, Oudenaarde-Antwerp/ all Belgium (217 km)
Routes: 75 km, 144 km, 177 km, 242 km
Anyone who wants to experience what it feels like for the pros at the “Ronde van Vlaanderen” to bolt over the cobbles, the rough cobblestone passages, and to climb up the Hellinge, the short poisonous climbs, cannot avoid a start. The efforts are worth it, though, because at the famous and race-deciding climbs Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg, and Paterberg, there are also an incredible number of spectators at the everyone’s race, cheering on the hobby athletes. After “work done”, the pros are cheered on at the “Ronde” just one day later.
Depending on your own fitness level, you can choose from four different routes: 75, 144, 177, and 242 kilometers. No matter which round is tackled, the effort is worth it. Because at the famous and race-deciding climbs Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg, and Paterberg, there are also an incredible number of spectators at the everyone’s race, cheering on the hobby athletes.
Anyone who also wants to ride over the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen – it’s worth it – must sign up for the 177 or 242-kilometer route. Despite all the spectacle on the track, the finish in Oudenaarde is quite sober. After “work done”, the pros are cheered on at the “Ronde” just one day later.
For the participants of the long-distance route, which is the only one to start in Antwerp, there is an early morning shuttle bus from Oudenaarde to the Belgian port city on race day.
Date: April 6, 2024
Start-Finish: Roubaix–Roubaix/France, Busigny–Roubaix/France (170 km)
Routes: 70 km, 145 km, 170 km
Even suffering and pain-tolerant hobby athletes can venture into the “Hell of the North”. One day before the professional peloton and just a few hours before the women, they have the chance at the 12th edition of this everyone’s event to “iron” over 54 kilometers of the toughest cobblestones and 19 sectors.
Those who want to minimize the vibrations on the Paves with the sonorous names like Forest of Arenberg or Carrefour de l’Abre should either drive on the right or left at the edge of the road or in the middle of the road – on the dam. As a reward, everyone is allowed to do an honorary lap in the famous velodrome in Roubaix at the end.
Those who start on the long route, which is the only one to start in Busigny, must hurry and reach the velodrome by 4 p.m., as shortly afterwards the winner of the professional women’s race arrives.
Date: May 5, 2024
Start-Finish: Roubaix-Roubaix (70 km), Wallers Arenberg-Roubaix (120 km), Bohain En Vermandois-Roubaix (210 km)/ all France
Routes: 70 km, 120 km, 210 km
Great fun for comparatively little money awaits the participants at Paris Roubaix Cyclo. In addition, there are usually pleasant temperatures when the local cycling club VC Roubaix organizes its own Hell of the North here almost two months after the professional race.
Three routes are available with 11, 34, or 58-kilometer long Pave sections. All three have the finish in the velodrome in Roubaix and the shower in the legendary catacombs in common; a pleasure that participants in the official “Challenge” do not get.
Date: April 20, 2024
Start-Finish: Ans – Liège/Belgium
Routes: 66 km/1292 hm, 142 km/2666 hm, 257 km/4498 hm
Those who want to ride the oldest classic in its everyone’s version do not have to decide months in advance to start. Until the morning of the race, short-term decision-makers can still register on site and tackle one of the three routes. The ultimate challenge is to ride the same route as the pros at “La Doyenne”.
That would then be 257 kilometers and a good dozen so-called Côtes – the majestic name of the short, crisp climbs in the Belgian Ardennes. Among them are well-sounding names like Côte de La Roche-aux-Faucons and of course the Côte de La Redoute.
But the other two routes (66 km and 142 km) also offer plenty of opportunities to experience and feel the fascination and hardness of the “Ardennes roller coaster” with its legendary climbs.
Grand Fondo Il Lombardia
Date: October 13, 2024
Route: 109 kilometers / 1700 altitude meters
“Madonna del Ghisallo” and “Muro di Surmano”. At these names, the eyes of cycling connoisseurs and fans light up and they know what it’s all about – the Tour of Lombardy. It is a pilgrimage on wheels – for professionals and hobby athletes alike. The race of the “falling leaves” is not only the last of the five monuments in cycling, but also a very attractive race. An enthusiastic knowledgeable audience that cheers on the pros; a grandiose scenic backdrop, past Lake Como, up to the chapel with the Madonna, the Colle Nero, and the wall of Surmano.
Significantly as the professional race, but just as imposing is the everyone’s version of the Tour of Lombardy. One day after the pros, hobby athletes can hit the road at the Gran Fondo Il Lombardia and pay their respects to the cycling pilgrimage site. Although the route passes the lovely Lake Como several times – but the detours up to the Madonna del Ghisallo and the Muro di Surmano let even well-trained hobby athletes feel why this race belongs to the monuments of cycling. Steep ramps with up to 27 percent gradient are not uncommon.