A first ride leaving LIEVIN/LENS (the ARENA STADE COUVERT = start/finish zone), towards Fromelles and 'La Bassée' with finally a taste of cobble stones, picked up from PARIS-ROUBAIX! Those who really want to avoid the 'Hell of North' can skip this and have only 113 km.
Overnight stay: different hotels in Lens (Bollaert-hotel, Lensotel) as well as the superb Arena Stade Couvert where till 100 people as well could pass the night. There will be also a shuttle (navette in French) to bring riders from the finish zone in Liévin (Arena Stade Couvert) to their hotel in Lens (about 5 km).
IMPORTANT: it will be possible to arrive already and overnight on Thursday in Lens!
This second day is a great cycling trip up to the Somme. Cities such as Albert and Péronne are most important Great War-areas, as well as the Thiepval Memorial of the Missing. On this ride passage through Arras (Wellington Carrière), Vimy Ridge and finally the Notre Dame de la Lorette site will get the remembrance idea closer than ever.
Tonight (after the 2nd stage): unless you would choose to stay another night in your Lens-overnight place, you can join us already in Ypres (Belgium) or 'In Flanders Fields', where also 150 beds will be reserved for those who subscribe early. More over, on Saturday evening at 8.00 pm the Great War Memorial Tour-organisation and its riders will be witnessing the LAST POST at the MENIN GATE MEMORIAL in Ypres. Most riders will use their own cars to do the transfer between Lens and Ypres (about 1 hour driving). But the organisation can provide a shuttle + bike & luggage transfer for those who would come by train to the GREAT WAR MEMORIAL TOUR!
Third and last day of this first Great War Memorial Tour is what we should call a Flanders Fields Classic. Starting and finishing in Ypres, you will discover lots of remembrance monuments, cemeteries and former battlefield areas of Flanders. Passchendale, Hill 60, Messines Ridge and the Plougstreet Memoral may not be forgotten on this tour. As well as the Belgian frontline nearby Diksmuide (Ijzertoren) and the John McCrae-site or the Kitchener's Wood (first gas attacks in April 1915). What is sure already: the GREAT WAR MEMORIAL TOUR is your greatest opportunity to have a +450 km view of the Western Front between Somme, Artois, Nord, Pas-de-Calais and Flanders. On a bicycle, which is certainly the best way to do!
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