There has been a Sportive run over the course every two years, but unlike the Ronde van Vlaanderen it isn't run off the day before but takes place in June. So although it's been a long time in coming the ASO has finally put together a course which will take in parts of the route. At a 162 km in length and featuring 18 pave sectors it will remain a challenge for even the toughest of riders, what the French refer to as Flahutes (the Ferench version of Flandriens), the tough men who thrive in adverse conditions which usually include pave.
I've just been looking at the costs and it ain't going to be a cheap weekend, unlike Flanders which can be done for not a lot of cash in the grand scheme of things. So pricing from entry open option. Increasingly ASO have made this harder and harder to do on the Tour Etape. It may solve a few issues in regards of how to deal with the start/finish scenario as the logistics can be a challenge, and frankly do you really want to have to find your way back to your hotel, then deal with cars etc, the mind boggles. As much as I would normally go 'yeah no worries' the A to B start finish option compared to the circular route of the Ronde makes it a little harder.
Is this on the cards, well for various reasons I've missed the chance to do the last two versions in June (accidents, work, you know real life stuff), so the draw is pretty big. I made the decision that after this years Flanders I wouldn't be back next year. So this could be my Spring challenge.
So it's time to really think about this, and if I'm going to do it I better get some serious training in. Then there will be no doubt a lot of lammenting on bike and kit (including clothing). For more information see these sites.