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Classics Story – spring classics in bikepacking mode

© franzconde (CC BY 2.0)

Classics Story – spring classics in bikepacking mode

Road Cycling Collection by Jesko



74:10 h

746 mi

37,550 ft

Paris-Roubaix, Gent-Wevelgem, Liège-Bastogne-Liège or Ronde van Vlaanderen are iconic in the cycling world. These notorious one-day races have taken place on the same infamous roads for more than 100 years. As if the sheer distances weren't enough, the routes feature bumpy cobblestones, steep climbs and unpaved sections. They lead over roads on which, by today’s standards, road bikes don’t belong. Here, year after year, stories are written that become legendary. Stories of great triumphs, bitter defeats, courage, endurance and humanity. It’s not only the winners who become heroes, as the most dramatic stories often don’t take place at the front of the race.

Classics Story is a relatively unknown bikepacking event which links together the most difficult sections of all the major spring classics. Participants are self-sufficient: you decide where and how long you stop. There are neither pre-set stages nor organised help. You’re completely on your own.

I took part in this great adventure in April 2022, in the middle of the classics season. Of the 18 registered riders, only seven lined up at the Ghent racecourse and unfortunately, there were no female riders. An unforgettable adventure awaited each of us. We had a whole week to complete the 1,200-kilometre (745 mi) route, but nobody wanted to take that much time. I’d planned to reach the finish in Valkenburg in under 100 hours, but I surprisingly finished much faster in the end.

On this route, you ask yourself more than once why you’re not riding a mountain or gravel bike. You and your steed are pushed to your limits on these roads. The spring classics are ridden on road bikes; that's the only way to get an idea for how tough these races really are. My Specialized Roubaix with its 32 millimetre-wide tyres was at least made for racing on cobbles. It was a good choice and served me well. Problems are part of such an adventure, but more about that in the Tour descriptions.

On The Map


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Classics Story 2022

743 mi

36,675 ft

36,450 ft

Last updated: December 14, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Part 1: Ghent to Leuven – Classics Story

    413 mi
    11.2 mph
    15,675 ft
    15,625 ft

    Die Teilnehmer versammeln sich im Park vor der Radrennbahn ‘T Kuipke, wo seit 1922 das berühmte Sechstagerennen stattfindet. Ein mehr als passender Ort für eine Strecke, die vor Radsport-Geschichte nur so trieft. Nach einer kurzen Ansprache des Organisators rollen wir aus der Stadt und verlieren uns

    by Jesko

  • 37:28
    333 mi
    8.9 mph
    21,900 ft
    21,800 ft

    Aus geplanten fünf Stunden Schlaf werden schnell sechs. Trotzdem schläft die Stadt noch tief und fest, als ich wieder auf dem Rad sitzend durch ihre dunklen Straßen rolle. Ich freue mich auf das, was noch vor mir liegt: zuerst das landschaftlich schöne Hageland, dann die von mir geliebten Ardennen mit

    by Jesko

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    746 mi
  • Duration
    74:10 h
  • Elevation
    37,550 ft

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