Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem, Fleche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Amstel Gold Race. These are the six Northern Classics, cycling events of a day that the professionals are running between March and April each year, the first part of each cycling season. It is 1500 km between France and Belgium that Paolo Aste will try to perform in 4 days, from 13 to 17 April.
Already considered worldwide as one of the most fearsome ultracycler, thanks to the participation in the Race Across America, the Tour of Ireland, Red Bull Trans Siberian Extreme, Aste decided to test himself again with this endurance to be accomplished in five stages: a day dedicated to every great Classical, with the exception of Ghent-Wevelgem and Fleche Wallonne that will be race on the same day.
The adventure begins Wednesday, April 13th with the legendary Paris-Roubaix, which had its first edition in 1896. Also called Hell of the North, this Classical winds for 253 kilometer through the quaint cobblestone uphills, short but very steep, paved, in fact, with cobblestones. After transferring from Roubaix to Bruges, Thursday morning there will be the start of the second classical to deal with, the Tour of Flanders, which is also known for the historical uphills in quaint cobblestone. 250 kilometers across Flanders, leading to the city of Oudennarde. It is run since 1912.
From Oudenaarde Paolo will move in the direction of Ghent, his second transfer.
Friday will be the turn of the Ghent-Wevelgem, a classic that takes place since 1934 and best known for the paved uphill called the Kemmelberg (23% grade). From Wevelgem Paolo will later move to Marche en Famenne where the same day he will also attack the Fleche Wallonne, ending it at Huy. 1936 is the date of birth of this Classic.
From Hui there will be the fourth transfer up to Liege, for the fifth Northern Classic, Saturday 16. The oldest of all, the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, dates back to 1892. 260 kilometers through the French-speaking region of Wallonia. Back in Liège Paolo will perform the fifth transfer up to Maastricht. Sunday, April 17 will be the turn of the last of the six Classics, the Amstel Gold Race, a race which takes place since 1966. On the same day there will also be the official race of professional cyclists. Paolo will arrive before them by cutting the finish line in Valkenburg at the end of 1500 km total routes.
“It will be an amazing and new experience for me, but above all extremely difficult,” said Aste. “The 1,500 kilometers are not in itself a problem, the fact is that the stretches of cobblestones are exhausting and very hard on the body, not surprisingly Belgium is defined the cycling school. The goal is to stay under four actual days, this means maintaining an average of around 22-23km/h, a good speed when considering the significant differences in height and the many walls of pavé to deal with”.
To support the athlete in his adventure there will be a team led by Mauro Farabegoli and composed by Luca Masini, Enrico Maria Grondini, Nicodemo Valerio and Federico Pozzer.
Paul’s technical partner will be the App Sport Plus Health, through which you can follow live from the website http://www.paoloaste.com/ the performance in terms of consumption, mileage and location.