As (self) appointed European Tour Manager I would like to announce the opening trip of 2017 - the Amstel Gold Sportive 2017.
Chris, Adam, Stu and I did Paris-Roubaix last year and it was a fantastic experience although the ride was incredibly difficult. Amstel Gold is another Spring Classic but is race over the bergs of Holland rather than the cobbles.
We took my Motorhome last year which sleeps 4 comfortably and kept costs down. Andy K has also offered to utilise his van - although at the beginning of April it may be chilly to camp properly.
It is the weekend of the 15th April with the Pros riding the next day which would be worth a watch.
The cost is ridiculously cheap - think we paid €30 to enter.
Who is interested?
What else do you need to know?
I'm happy to get information and pass it on.
One of the further 'issues' discovered is that the Amstel Gold race falls on Easter Weekend. That may be better for some but for those with families may be problematic. It also means the costs of crossing and any accommodation are likely to be higher.
There are a couple of options.
Two weekends before there is the Tour of Flanders (1/2nd April). As an event this sportive is probably slightly harder with some iconic cobbled climbs - the Amstel Gold has no cobbles but does have a few of the famous 'berg' climbs. The cobbles though are normal road cobbles and nothing like Paris-Roubaix.
Talking of which - that is the other option - a return to the dreaded but most famous one day race in the world - The Hell Of The North. This is the weekend in between Flanders and Amstel - it is undoubtedly the hardest (although there is a short option that cuts out the really brutal sections) but it is the easiest to get to and potentially cheapest.
Personally I am pretty happy to consider any of the above - there are pros and cons for each one. Selfishly I've got 3 spaces in the motorhome so I am looking to make a decision ready for when booking opens (usually around Sept-Oct) but I am equally as happy to look at alternative accommodation options if there are a numbers of RC riders who are interested.