Sadly - the 2020 Classics season is not going to look anything like the above photo. Absolute titans of men and women won't be knocking the stuffing out of each other across ridiculously unridable roads and up silly steep climbs.
However life is all about looking for the silver linings, especially during a crisis like this one. We won't be able to stand on the Ode Kwaremont, beer in hand, screaming at tiny men on £10,000 bikes as they push the limits of human endeavour. We will however, be able to put ourselves through the ringer in our own homes (#stayhomesavelives) as we take on the Dirty Wknd x All Things Ride Zwift Classics Series!
We're determined to make the best of this situation, and by that we mean riding tough, hilly and a little bit gravely zwift courses with friends on a Sunday morning! There will be prizes of Dirty Wknd club socks and ATR arm screens for various things throughout the series, however the aim is to try and complete all the rides.
So read on below for details of the Dirty Wknd x All Things Ride Classics Series - five great Zwift group rides, taking on a different course each week that (somewhat) emulate the famous classics routes of northern Europe. Basically you can expect a bunch of short, steep climbs and some Zwift gravel to try and replicate the famed Pavè sectors.
Classic #1 - Ronde Van Zwift - Sunday 5th April
In our very humble opinion, the Tour of Flanders (Ronde Van Vlaanderen) is THE race of the year. The perfect mix of cobbles and climbs, it's got it all so we're thrilled to be making the Ronde Van Zwift our first group ride.
We've ridden the Ronde sportive for the last few years with All Things Ride, and can confirm that is a brilliant, challenging and unforgettable day on the bike. We'd hugely urge everyone to join the Flanders weekend at least once. In the meantime, our RVZ ride will take on the 68km course of the Big Foot Hills as out groups ride or race their way to the finish!
Classic #2 - Paris Zwiftbaix - Sunday 12th April
If you ask any (male) pro bike racer which classic they'd most like to win, and the answer will most likely be Paris - Roubaix. The 'queen of the classics' is held in such high esteem that most riders would swap a kidney to be in the final group turning right into the rickety old Roubaix velodrome.
Ride number 2 of our Zwift Classics Series is Paris Zwiftbaix. This fun Zwift group ride will take on a 47km course of road and gravel to try and replicate the famous pavè of northern France.
Classic #3 - Amstel Zwift Race - Sunday 19th April
Amstel Gold is the first classic to leave Belgium behind and head over into neighbouring Netherlands. Thankfully, this means no more cobbles to worry about, but it does mean extra sharp, leg sapping climbs to keep things fun! And you thought The Netherlands was flat!
Ride number 3 of the Dirty Wknd x ATR Zwift Classics Series is the Amstel Zwift Race. We return to the punchy climbs of the Big Foot Hills (used for the RVZ ride) to take on another 68km with 640 metres of climbing. Whilst Amstel Gold doesn't usually contain pavè, gravel is just so in right now, so there’s a little bit of rumble included too. Just for fun ;)
Click Here for the Amstel Zwift Race report!
Classic #4 - La Zwift Wallonne - Weds 22nd April
La Fléche Wallonne is a mid-week Classic; the first of the Ardennes Classics, and a tough ride due to it’s position right after Amstel and right before Liege. In keeping with it's spring brethren, it's also really long and really hilly too!
Classic number 4 of the DW x ATR Zwift Classics Series is of course La Zwift Wallone - a testing ride through Zwift’s PRL Half course. A nice little Wednesday evening ride, consisting of 4 loops of Box Hill, stepping in well for the fearsome Muur de Hoy in the real Flèche.
Classic #5 - Liege - Watopia - Liege - Sun 26th April
La Doyenne - The Old Lady - is the oldest of the Spring Classic races, and also one the longest and bumpiest too! To finish off our Classics series with Liege couldn’t be more apt!
Ride number 5 of the Dirty Wknd x ATR Zwift Series is the Liege - Watopia - Liege, and we’re going out with a bang! the longest ride of the series, the highest elevation - this is a big ride to celebrate the end of Spring!
Riding Zwift's 'Mega Pretzel', we'll be taking on 107km and about 1600 metres of climbing - we weren't joking when we said it was a big day out! Post ride beer will never have tasted so sweet!
As above, club members can log into the members app to grab all the details right now. Non-member can click here to sign up, or join the community now to become a member and grab all the other club benefits as well.
We're very excited to be riding some Classics this Spring. The coronavirus crisis may have robbed us of the pure joy of a full Classics season, but if riding with friends on Zwift every Sunday in April is as close as we can get, then we'll take that! We'd love you to join us for what will be a fun ride series. If you've got any questions the drop us an email or connect on social media (@dirtywknd).